A/N: My first fanfiction ever, so please review to make me a better writer! This is for my dear friend, Marimo141, for her birthday. Love you! 3 Just a little something I've been piddling around with and may extend into something bigger.

John was on his way to pick up the groceries, just like every Saturday. Sarah had helped him set up a routine after Sherlock had gone and it had made things a little easier. Six months had made things a little easier.

John decided to walk, despite the heavy rain. He didn't have the cash for a cab and get everything he wanted to buy and the tube would've been crammed with dripping people holding soaking umbrellas against his thigh, making him just as wet. What was the point in that? And it really wasn't that far. It was the most adventure John got nowadays. A bit of wet and a chance at catching cold.

John strode down the street, hands jammed in his pockets and head bowed. It was a bit colder than he had thought and was beginning to regret his decision as the rain plastered his hair to his forehead and it ran and trickled into his eyes. He looked up to see how much further it was…

And froze.

A man in a long, dark coat was standing still under a lamppost, form blurred by the rain, head turned slightly away from John. His stomach and jaw clenched in shock but he stopped himself, berating himself once again for thinking he had seen Sherlock when it was just someone else. How many times had he chased down a stranger in a similar coat? Or with black, curly hair? Or who was tall and wore a suit? Or even someone with the same skin tone? To John, anyone could be Sherlock, the master of disguise. Sherlock, the skilled actor.

John, stop. John, hope isn't going to get you anywhere, it's ridiculous. It's been too long; you need to give it up.

John made it into a test. He would walk past the man without casting a single glance at him, without searching him over, looking for the long, pale hands, the muscles of his neck, and the blue of his eyes.

John let his numb feet carry him forward, pretending he wasn't looking at the man as he approached, but failing miserably.

Particularly when the man turned to look at him.

Particularly when that man was Sherlock.

He stood there casually, openly, as if no time had passed at all and they had arranged to meet there after splitting up for an investigation. As if he wasn't soaked to the bone from waiting there for John. The only betrayer was his eyes which weren't as hard and direct in their gaze. They seemed to be asking a question.

A question which John swiftly answered with a clumsy punch to Sherlock's jaw. It was much weaker and less accurate than he had planned when he imagined this moment. Because he had imagined it, what he would do when Sherlock returned. Perhaps a little too often for a supposed six-month-dead man.

John left his knuckles resting against Sherlock's face as he started to cry, the hot tears blending with cold rain on his face. They were both an accusation and a relief. Sherlock slowly brought his hand up to John's, for the first time not knowing what John would do, almost unable to read him. He gently removed John's fist, uncurling John's icy fingers and weaving his own between them until they were holding hands like any other couple would. John felt his heartbeat quicken, feeling warmer for the first time since the fall, despite the rain.

Sherlock tilted John's face gently upwards, wanting John to look him in the eye so that he could start to try to mend the unmendable.

"I'm sorry." John looked up, blinking the rain and tears from his eyes trying to process the apology and the sound of Sherlock's voice. To see the sincerity in Sherlock's eyes and the tension in his face.

"I did what I had to to keep you safe. But I'm not leaving you again. I'll stay by your side…" Sherlock hesitated before continuing tentatively, "if you'll have me."

It was the only time that Sherlock had ever sounded so cautious. Uncertain, even.

John simply moved forward to lean against Sherlock, their hands still clasped, bodies touching, but not hugging. Just being. Unable to speak, John nodded silently into Sherlock's chest, his tears staining the Sherlock's dress shirt. Sherlock brought his free arm up around John's shoulders, pulling him closer so that his cheek rested against the side of John's head. Sherlock whispered, just loud enough for John to hear,

"Thank you…"

They continued to hold hands on the walk home, pretending that they had forgotten that their hands were still clasped, knowing that if one of them brought it up the other would immediately withdraw his hand. The groceries were ignored entirely. They both walked quickly, each wanting to get the other out of the pouring rain.

A/N: Thank you for reading and please review!