Elizabeth's steps were heavy as she walked up the steps to her apartment. Between grad school, her work with the CIA, and missing Henry more with every beat of her heart, life was wearing her thin. What she needed tonight, she told herself, was a bath and a glass of wine - wasn't there a Thomas Aquinas quote about that? Henry would know.
Oh, Henry. Elizabeth sighed and leaned her head against the front door for a moment, not yet ready to open the door and face her empty apartment. Of the almost-two-years they'd been married, they'd spent the majority apart, and the growing ache of it was enough to drive her to tears when she let it.
She resolved not to let it tonight, turning the knob on the door and stepping into the light of the living room. That was strange - she didn't normally leave the light on when he left. But honestly, she'd been spread so thin lately, she wasn't terribly surprised that it had slipped her mind. She barely spared it a thought as she went into the kitchen, but then the red light on the oven told her it was on, and she realized she could smell food cooking. But that would mean…
She heard his voice, but could not believe her ears until she whipped around and her eyes confirmed it. He was here, somehow, standing in front of her, and before she could think she was racing forward, her body colliding with his as his arms wrapped tightly around her.
"Henry," she whispered into the fabric of his shirt as his hands smoothed up and down her back. "You're home," she said, pulling back just enough to stare into his beautiful face, "How are you home? You told me it would be two more months."
He shrugged. "I wasn't sure if I would get the week off, and I didn't wanna get your hopes up. I thought I would surprise you."
She pressed her face into his chest again. "The week?" she whispered, almost afraid to speak the words; they seemed too good to be true.
In response he held her tighter, dropping a kiss to the top of her head. "The week," he confirmed. "I'll have to leave the 10th."
"I love you," she sighed into him, feeling the tension she had carried home with her slip further away every second she was wrapped up in him. As it did, so did the resolve which had held her tears back, and she could feel them pressing at corners of her eyes. She screwed her eyes shut, not wanting to tarnish the joy of Henry's homecoming, but somehow he could always tell when she was holding something back from him. A hand slid up her back and then he was reaching for her face, tilting her chin upward until she knew he could see her glassy eyes, her wobbling lip.
"Elizabeth," he said with a fond smile.
"I'm happy," she assured him, hating for him to think the tears were a sign of something else. "It's just-"
"Come here," he instructed, guiding her the few steps it took to get to the living room sofa. She followed willing, collapsing onto the soft cushions with him and folding into his side. "I know it's hard without me here," he told her, wrapping both arms around her as she sat so close she was practically on top of him. "It's hard for me too. Let it out."
She did. Leaning against him, safe in the warmth of him, the light of their apartment, the scent of something delicious in the oven, she let it out. As the tears streamed down her face, she felt the overwhelming joy of relief of having him, even for a week. He was home.