Four stores. Sherlock Holmes had been to four stores looking for the specific brand of milk that John always buys. He knew that John would be out of milk in 221B, and he wouldn't have a chance to go buy more until tomorrow after work.
Moriarty's network was gone, and his friends were safe. John was the first person he was going back to. It had been a long three years without his blogger.
The milk he kept searching for was meant to be a peace offering. In all their time as flat mates, he never did any of the shopping. Sherlock hoped that buying the milk would appease John.
The fifth store had the proper brand.
He placed the milk in the fridge so it wouldn't go bad and stalked around the flat. John hadn't moved any of his things. They were placed exactly how he left them before the fall.
Which meant no girlfriends, or at least no long-term ones that would have forced John to get rid of Sherlock's belongings. John did, however, throw away any body parts or experiments in the kitchen that he had found. That was okay. Three years would have spoiled any findings, anyway.
The lock downstairs clicked. Footsteps mixed with the tap of a cane hobbled up the stairs. Sherlock stood up from where he was examining his violin and looked at the door.
John opened the door and shrugged out of his coat. He looked good, despite needing the cane for his psychosomatic limp. Without the constant danger Sherlock put him in, it was no wonder the limp came back.
John looked up and met Sherlock's eyes. He jumped back, hitting the door.
"Bloody hell! Sherlock?"
After a beat, Sherlock replied, "Hello, John. I'm not dead."
John glowered at the genius; his hand balled into fists. "Not dead? Not dead! That's all you have to say for yourself after three fucking bloody long years? 'I'm not dead.' Well, good for you, Sherlock. Good. For. You." He marched forward and swung at the taller man.
Pain erupted in his cheek and Sherlock fell to the ground, cupping his face. He readjusted his jaw, making sure nothing was broken. John could certainly punch.
"What do you expect me to do, Sherlock? Let you back into my life?"
"I bought milk," Sherlock mumbled around his hand still cupping his jaw.
"You were gone three years...what?"
Sherlock swallowed and stood up, towering over the doctor. "I...erm...bought milk." He fidgeted. Sherlock Holmes never fidgeted. "I noticed you were out and...I bought some. It's in the fridge," he finished quickly, red blossoming over his pale cheeks.
John chuckled. "You wanker."