It is the sweetest New Year's Eve of John Watson's life. At ten a.m., he is woken up by a soft kiss to his lips and a smooth whisper in his ear:
“Happy New Year, John.”
John smiles sleepily, melting into Sherlock's embrace. They take their time waking up, slowly kissing. When John makes to leave for the bathroom fifteen minutes later, Sherlock stops him with a last firm kiss and another “Happy New Year”.
“Happy New Year, silly”, John smiles and gets out of bed.
At eleven a.m., John is comfortable in his chair with a newspaper and a cup of tea. The paper is unceremoniously snatched from his hands and a mop of curls swoops down into his face. A sharp cheekbone crashes into his nose when Sherlock presses his lips to John's. John barely has time to take part in the kissing before Sherlock pulls back and straightens.
“Happy New Year, John.”
“Save some for midnight”, John chuckles and grabs his paper back.
At noon, John is interrupted with another kiss when doing the dishes. “Happy New Year, John.”
John watches when Sherlock goes back to the table. “You know the new year hasn't started yet, right?”
“In Kamchatka it has”, Sherlock says, sitting down to stare into his microscope.
“Really?” John says, amused. “And where is that?”
“Russia”, Sherlock says absently.
At one p.m., Sherlock has been absorbed by his experiment for an hour, without hearing when John tried to talk to him. But suddenly he springs out of his chair to plant another clumsy kiss on John's lips.
“Happy New Year, John.”
“Where?” John chuckles.
After half an hour, there is another kiss. “Okay, what now?” John says when Sherlock backs away.
“Happy New Year, John.”
“Yeah”, says John slowly.
“In Adelaide”, Sherlock clarifies.
“Okay, but why?”
“You wanted a New Year's kiss.”
“Well, yeah, that'd be nice. That's normally done at midnight, though.”
“Last year, you expressed disappointment that I did not kiss you at midnight.”
John grins at the memory of the strange case, the completely missed moment of the new year's beginning, and above all, the glorious morning after. “You know that was just a roundabout way of telling you I wanted to kiss you?”
“Nevertheless, I will kiss you at midnight in every time zone to compensate you for the lost kiss.”
For a moment, John is speechless. This romantic side of Sherlock shows when he least expects it, and it leaves him dumbstruck every time. John can feel his own gaze glowing when he searches Sherlock's face. “Are you serious?”
“I love you.”
Sherlock averts his eyes. “Hmm”, he mumbles as he turns away to hide his smug smile.
At two p.m., John leans against the kitchen door frame with a smile until Sherlock rises to give him his kiss.
At two thirty, John gets a quick peck on his lips before he has a chance to swallow his food. Sherlock disappears out of the kitchen quickly so John can't keep nagging him about joining him for lunch.
Half an hour later, John is annoyed. Sherlock has forbidden him to leave for Tesco before the new year has begun in Tokyo. “If you insist on kissing me, you could come with me, you know”, John had said, to which Sherlock only rolled his eyes.
“Happy New Year, John”, Sherlock says with a kiss when the clock strikes three. “And hurry up.”
“Yeah, yeah. See you in a bit”, John says and leaves.
At three fifteen, John is in the middle of grocery shopping when he hears his name called. A dramatic figure comes rushing towards him through the Tesco aisle, the big coat flaring like the flag on a pirate ship.
“John!” Sherlock bellows.
John furrows his brow. Sherlock only runs like that when he's being chased by some criminal, and even then, he rarely looks as panicked as now. A hundred scenarios flick through John's head before Sherlock collides into him, wrapping him in his arms and bruising his mouth with a kiss.
“Happy New Year”, he pants. “Eucla, Western Australia.”
The tension pours out of John in a fit of giggles. “You're crazy”, says, glancing around at the curious customers. “What will happen if you miss one?”
“I will not miss one”, Sherlock sniffs.
“Nearly did. Seriously, you have far too little experience with shopping if you thought I'd be home again in fifteen minutes.”
Sherlock's eyes narrow. “Don't patronise me. As if I don't know that you conduct your grocery shopping in twenty-six minutes on average.”
John raises his eyebrows. “Then why did you let me leave?”
Sherlock's mouth presses together tightly, chewing on words that seemingly taste bitter in his mouth. “I miscalculated the time zones.” His nose creases in disgust at this unforgivable mistake, then he turns on his heel and storms out of the store without helping with the groceries.
Just before four p.m., John rises to go to the bathroom.
“Where are you going?” Sherlock asks.
John sighs. “Am I allowed to pee, your majesty?”
“Fine”, Sherlock grumbles.
John locks the door behind him, a wicked smile spreading on his face. He slowly undresses, getting in the shower and turning the water on. It's only seconds until Sherlock is outside the door.
“John? What are you doing?”
John smiles and lets the spray flow through his hair.
“John, are you showering?”
“Mm, why?” John shouts back. “Did you need anything?”
“It's midnight in Beijing in one and a half minute!”
“I'll be right out!” John reaches for the shampoo. The bottle is almost empty and makes a noise when he squeezes the liquid into his palm.
“What was that?” Sherlock immediately shouts, and John fights to keep his laughter quiet. “John, open up!”
“Sorry love, can't do it right now!” He hums tonelessly when he puts shampoo through his hair.
Sherlock is banging on the door, more and more desperately.
“John! John, there's only twenty-six seconds left!”
John hears him snarl, and the banging stops for a moment. Then it comes back again: “John, if you don't open the door, I will break in!”
John can't help his laughter then, echoing across the tiles. He calmly washes his hair while the lock rattles. “Seven seconds, John!” he hears Sherlock shout just before the door bangs open.
John yelps when the shower curtain is pulled aside and Sherlock Holmes, dressed in his expensive suit, throws himself in under the spray, grabs John's face with both hands and kisses him.
Close to five p.m., John is sitting in the Scotland Yard cafeteria, drinking coffee with Greg. He sneaked out of the flat while Sherlock was still in the shower, mainly because he didn't trust himself not to get back in there and finish what they'd started. Greg is working all night, so John thought he might as well drop by and wish him a happy new year, while also giving Sherlock some detective work to do.
Sherlock calmly strides into the cafeteria at five minutes to five. “You need to try harder”, he says when he sits down in the empty chair at their table.
Greg raises his eyebrows, but John only shakes his head. Sherlock leans back in his chair, making no effort to take part in the conversation. When he suddenly grabs John's chin, kisses him and wishes him a happy new year, Greg's eyebrows rise even further, but John doesn't have time to explain before Sherlock drags him out of the building.
At five thirty, John is making lasagne. When Sherlock approaches, John dries his hands on a towel in the corner, and then goes to stand at the other side of the table. Sherlock frowns and follows him, but John just goes back to the other side.
“It's almost time, John.”
“I know”, John smiles cheekily. Sherlock rounds the table again, and John follows his movement.
“Don't be ridiculous”, Sherlock says.
“You need to try harder”, John teases, and then they are running around the table, skidding on the floor, trying to trick each other by changing directions. Sherlock gropes for him across the table but John jumps out of his reach. When Sherlock nearly gets him, John runs into the living room, back into the kitchen, another turn to the living room and then down the hall. At the threshold of the bedroom, Sherlock finally grasps John's waist and they stumble across the floor, landing on the bed. John giggles hysterically while he squirms to get out of Sherlock's hold, but Sherlock has the advantage since he landed on top.
Finally, John's hands are pinned above his head. He looks up at Sherlock's flushed face, their panting breaths mingling in the air, the growing bulge of Sherlock's crotch gloriously pressed against his own. “Happy New Year, John”, Sherlock says in a breathy voice. When they kiss, Sherlock's mouth opens immediately, and John moans into it.
At six p.m., the lasagne is in the oven, and the sexual tension in the room is making it hard to move. Sherlock's eyes are making indecent proposals while John stubbornly sets the table, and the New Year's kiss for Dhaka gets quickly out of hand. Fifteen minutes later, they are eating, and the candles play in Sherlock's eyes when he leans over the table to kiss him with another “Happy New Year”. When he does it again after another fifteen minutes, John chuckles:
“Seriously, are you making this up now?”
“No. New Delhi.”
“You really did your research, huh?”
Sherlock slides his foot further up John's leg.
At seven p.m., Sherlock is stretched out on the sofa, weak after eating much more food than he is used to. John is washing up when Sherlock bolts up from the sofa, stomps through the room, presses a quick kiss to John's lips, and then stomps back.
At seven thirty, John is waiting. He knows what time zone this is, and when Sherlock slowly approaches him John sees that he knows too. Sherlock stops in front of John, looks into his eyes and pushes a tender hand through John's short hair.
“Happy New Year, John”, he says in a low voice, so solemnly that it sounds like it's the first time he says it. When their lips meet, it's so soft that it's almost as if they're not touching, and John finds himself holding his breath.
“Thank you for surviving Afghanistan”, Sherlock whispers across his lips.
“Thank you for making it worth it”, John murmurs and closes his mouth around Sherlock's lower lip.
Half an hour later they are still slowly snogging, and Sherlock pulls back only to wish him a Happy New Azerbaijani Year.
At eight thirty, they are sitting in Mrs Hudson's flat. She is in the kitchen preparing drinks and sweets, when Sherlock gives John a kiss that's not entirely proper for their landlady's living room. “Don't force her to interrupt us twice in twenty minutes”, John murmurs while stroking Sherlock's thigh.
“Happy New Year”, Sherlock murmurs back and captures his mouth again.
At nine p.m., they are in the middle of a parlour game. John kicks Sherlock's ass with it, and Sherlock kisses him with the sourest “Happy New Year” a human is capable of. Mrs Hudson looks confused.
“It's midnight somewhere”, John explains.
“Minsk”, Sherlock bites.
“Sherlock dear”, Mrs Hudson says. “Have another piece of chocolate.”
Sherlock glances longingly at the chocolate box but refuses to take one out of spite. When John puts one to Sherlock's lips, though, Sherlock lets it slip inside together with John's finger. Sherlock bites it, John hisses, and Mrs Hudson sighs reproachfully: “Boys.” She wins the game.
At ten p.m., John is back in his chair at 221B. Sherlock is by the window, playing violin, his back working beautifully beneath his black shirt. He's in the middle of a piece when he turns around and walks over to John. He keeps playing when he bends down, and he gets in a hasty kiss during a down-bow. The notes turn softer when he straightens, mirroring the look on his face. John stares and loves him painfully.
At eleven p.m., John kisses Sherlock first. “Paris and Berlin, right?” he says.
Sherlock's mouth twists in an ominous way. “And Algiers, Amsterdam, Bern, Brazzaville, Kinshasa, Ljubljana, Luanda, Madrid, Niamey, Prague, Rome-”
“-Stockholm, Tunis, Vienna, Warsaw, Zagreb-”
“Alright, Sherlock! I won't steal your kiss again.”
“Happy New Year, John.”
John finds it impossible not to giggle.
The midnight kiss doesn't really ever stop.
One a.m. finds them in a compromising position. John is digging his fingers into Sherlock's hips and panting across his sweaty back, when Sherlock suddenly moves away, making John slip out of him. John falls forward in surprise, but before he can ask, Sherlock is on his back, hooking his knees over John's shoulders.
“Twenty seconds to midnight in Praia”, he says breathlessly, and then he groans when John pushes back into him. John stills when he's as deep as he can go, watching Sherlock's face; the flush is high on his cheeks and his eyes are squeezed shut. Sherlock squirms until he realises John isn't going to move, and then he opens his eyes, obviously struggling to manage it. They look at each other, Sherlock's eyes unfathomably deep oceans of desire.
“Happy New Year”, John breathes, before Sherlock raises his head and latches his mouth onto John's.
At two a.m., John is soaring between wakefulness and sleep. A soft, warm pressure meets his lips, endlessly careful, and the wonderful scent of Sherlock's skin fills him. He lies still, distantly aware of Sherlock pulling back just as slowly. There is a whisper across his cheek: “I love you”, before sleep draws him in deeper.
At three a.m., John is awoken by a brisk shake at his good shoulder. “Wh?” he slurs, already reaching for his gun.
“It's midnight in Buenos Aires in ten seconds”, Sherlock says.
John groans. “Really?”
“Yes, John, really. Happy New Year.”
Half an hour later might as well have been two minutes later, when Sherlock shakes him again.
“Sherlock, could you at least wake me gently?”
There is a silence, and John can imagine Sherlock's sheepish look. “I can try”, he mutters. “Happy New Year, John.” He kisses him softly. “Newfoundland”, he adds.
“Whatever you say”, John mumbles.
At four a.m., John wakes abruptly, opening his eyes. Sherlock is kneeling on all fours beside him on the mattress, staring at him intensely in the dim light of the bedside lamp. John lets out a sleepy laugh. “Didn't mean you couldn't touch me, you adorable thing.”
“It's midnight in Caracas in nine seconds”, Sherlock says.
At five a.m., John slides out of sleep very slowly. Sherlock is holding him in his arms, gently stroking his back, his arms, his neck, his hair. Kisses are pressed to his forehead and his eyelids. “Mmm”, John mumbles to let Sherlock know he is awake.
“Forty seconds left”, Sherlock murmurs. “Take your time.”
John sighs in contentment. “This is what I'm talking about.”
Sherlock stays silent until he gently tips John's face up to give him his kiss.
At six a.m., Sherlock uses the same technique to wake John up. John moans:
“Could you wake me like this every day?”
Sherlock's low chuckle in his hair sounds like comfort and home.
“If you like.”
The pleasant buzzing from Sherlock's touch almost lulls John back to sleep before Sherlock kisses his lips.
Seven and eight a.m. blur together; John isn't even sure if they are dream or reality. Sherlock's soft hands are all over, his breath whispering across the skin of John's face and neck. The kiss to his lips is warm. “Happy New Year, John. And good morning.”
“One more hour”, John hums, unsure if the words actually form on his tongue in the end.
At nine a.m., John is secretly awake. Sherlock's hands caress him, stirring his blood and warming his skin. He doesn't say anything and he tries not to move. Of course he hasn't fooled Sherlock, who ducks his head to kiss him. “Happy New Year, John.”
“Happy anniversary”, John answers, blinking his eyes open. Sherlock blinks back. “Remember?” John adds, crawling over Sherlock's body, making sure to brush his morning wood over Sherlock's hip in the process. “When I woke up one year ago, you were behind me like this.”
“Mmm”, Sherlock answers, bordering on a moan.
“You had your nose against my neck like this”, John whispers. “And your hand on my chest. And your cock against my bottom. And then… we started moving. I pressed back to be closer to you – yes, just like that – God, Sherlock, it felt so good to be close to you. You kissed my neck. Like this. You touched my nipple. Like this.”
“Shhhhhh”, John whispers. “We must stay quiet. Be quiet, Sherlock. Even when I lower my hand, like you did, to touch your…”
Sherlock doesn't manage to stay quiet no matter how John shushes him. At the end, John doesn't either.
At nine thirty, Sherlock turns his head and John opens one eye.
“And then”, Sherlock says with a liquid voice, “you gave me a New Year's kiss.”
John smiles. “I did. And you accepted.”
“Here's one for Nuku Hiva.”
John giggles into the kiss. “For the what?”
“Nuku Hiva. The largest of the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia.”
“I love you so much, you ridiculous man.”
At ten a.m., they are just coming out of the shower together, when Sherlock whips around and almost makes John slip on the wet floor with his kiss.
“Christ, how do you always know what time it is?”
Sherlock looks at him as if he's stupid.
At eleven a.m., John is yet again interrupted in his morning tea and his newspaper with an attack kiss.
“Will this just never end, then?”
“Only one left now.”
Sherlock smiles. “Baker Island.”
“Baker Island”, John repeats, amused.
“It's an uninhabited island in the central Pacific Ocean.”
“Uninhabited? Then why on earth does it have its own time zone?”
“Ships go by there, John.”
“Oh, of course. We need to celebrate with the ships.”
At noon, they kiss in front of the window. The first of January looks grey and stagnant on Baker Street. The bright daylight reveals the chaos of stuff in 221B and the dust on the floor. John holds on to the lapels of Sherlock's dressing gown, and Sherlock looks tired and soft like the day outside.
“Happy New Year, John.”
“I think it will be.” John puts his palm against Sherlock's cheek. “Think I'll keep you for another year.”
“Oh. I suppose you could.”
“Oh, yeah? How many can I have?”
Sherlock pretends to consider. “One. Maybe two. Ten. One hundred and thirty.” He shrugs. “Just take all of them.”
They smile. “Then I will.” John kisses the tip of his nose and goes to get the vacuum cleaner.