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Beneath the stains of time it’s clear, all I ever wanted was you.

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Sherlock is back from the dead. Two years gone, travelling the globe to take down Moriarty's network and keep his friends alive. Two years away from home, sneaking around, running away, dodging bullets and doing unforgivable things. Having been done unforgivable things to.

 

Hours and hours of pain and despair, losing hope, losing himself. His body is proof of it. Scars from knives and bullets, cigarette burns and other things no person should ever have to go through. Maybe he wasn't a classic beauty before, but he sure isn't beautiful now. Classic or otherwise.

 

The thought of home kept him alive, even when he didn't want to. He'll never admit it to anyone, but he's thought about giving up, giving in, so many times. Even now when he's back.

 

Months without sleep, without comfort and barely any food. It isn't nearly as much fun when it's mandatory. He got to knew the deepest and darkest places in the world, the people living in it and he doesn't want to remember but locking away memories isn't as easy as it once was. His Palace is falling apart, just like his sanity.

 

His memories haunt him every second, waking him up screaming, trashing around. The place he once called home doesn't feel the same anymore.

 

Home, his lifeline for two years. The knowledge it was all there waiting for him, 221B and Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft and Molly, even Lestrade. But most importantly John.

 

John.

 

He'd left so suddenly, so drastic and definitive. Faking his own death had been the only way but it ached, hearing John break down over the phone. His note.

 

This phone call – it’s, er ... it’s my note. It’s what people do, don’t they – leave a note?

 

It had been the hardest thing to do in his life, leaving John behind without him knowing the truth. He'd thought about sending him a message a thousand times. But he chickened out every single time. How could he even begin to explain? Texts or letters would never be enough. He needed to see John, talk to him face to face. Explain everything and finally stop dancing around the elephant in the room. He needed to tell him how he felt, how important John was to him.

 

He needed to tell him he loved him.