He could feel her before he could see her, could feel every molecule in his body bringing him closer to her. His heart was pounding furiously with each step and he knew she would be there when he rounded the corner of Gold’s shop onto the main street, knew it with every fiber of his being. But still this did not prepare him.
He froze in his tracks and drank in the sight of her, his eyes hungrily finding every new detail he had missed over the past weeks. Her hair was longer, he noticed, and how he wished he could touch that hair, run his fingers through it. It took him but a moment to realize that he could do just that - he was no longer dreaming and she truly stood before him now. And just like that his feet were moving again, the gravity between them exerting its ever-present pull in her direction. He thinks perhaps he must have called out her name, because she is turning towards him, but then she is in his arms and he can’t even remember his own name, let alone what his lips may have uttered.
His arms draw her in and he does what he had been thinking of only a moment ago, burying his hand in her tresses, his eyes falling closed as he takes a steadying breath. He feels her arms wrapped tightly around him and in that moment everything is as it should be. He can feel her chest rising and falling against his own, her warm breath tickling his ear, and he wonders how he ever survived a moment away from her.
He feels a small rush of cool air as she pulls away from him and he is momentarily stricken by the loss of her, but then her lips find his, her kiss soft and yielding, and his fear is replaced with a sort of fierce determination – he will never let her go again. Her hands travel down his back and he shivers, his grip on her loosening just a little as they draw apart. Not willing to relinquish her just yet, he leans forward ever so slightly until his forehead rests against hers, his fingers still buried in the hair at the nape of her neck.
Only then does he open his eyes to find her gazing back at him. That perfect brown he could drown in seemed darker than he remembered, and he realizes that her eyes are shining with tears that pool up and then spill over, falling freely down her cheeks. Gingerly, he brushes them away with the back of his hand, causing her to smile, and his heart stutters. It’s the smile he never thought he would see again, the one he thought of every time he closed his eyes.
He doesn’t think he could possibly feel any more whole than he does in this moment until she whispers, so quietly he almost doesn’t hear it, “You’re home.” And he realizes she is right, he is home, so long as he is with her.