Home smells like tea and blood and chemicals. John thinks about this the very first morning after Sherlock’s return while sitting in their living room with a cup of tea. Sherlock is already back to doing his experiments, which is fine really, because he is so absorbed to his work that he doesn’t notice John staring at him. Or if he does, he doesn’t mention it. And that’s all John can ask for now, because he cannot stop staring.
Last night he had yelled. He had punched Sherlock. He had cried. And finally he had let Sherlock fold him in a hug. Sherlock had explained the whole thing and John had found himself falling back to their old pattern. Brilliant, fantastic, genius, John had called him. Because Sherlock was and still is all those things. He is maddening, arrogant and snarky, but he is also all those good things and he had made John’s life so much brighter. And now he is back.
John rises from his chair and goes to put his cup in the sink. He turns to face Sherlock, who seems to be completely focused on his current experiment, whatever that is.
“I missed you, you know.”
Sherlock goes still.
“I thought about everything I said last night and I think I forgot that. And that’s the most important part.”
Sherlock lifts his eyes from his work. He doesn’t say anything, so John continues.
“You probably knew that, but I thought I should tell you. Because I really did miss you. And I’m glad that you’re back.”
They both are silent for a while. Then Sherlock clears his throat and glances at John.
“I’m glad to be back.”
John smiles a bit, then shakes his head and crosses the room. He puts his arms around Sherlock, who stiffens at first but eventually relaxes and hugs him back. John knows it’s more for his sake than Sherlock’s, but he’s glad Sherlock allows the hug to continue. They stand like that for a minute or two or three. John doesn’t really pay attention, because he is busy listening Sherlock’s heartbeat and feeling Sherlock’s favorite purple shirt under his fingertips and smelling the unique scent that is purely Sherlock.
“I was wrong”, he says to himself, but Sherlock hears him anyway.
“Home smells like you.”