Disclaimers: I do not own Sherlock or any of its characters. I am merely borrowing them for entertainment purposes.
Notes: A New Year's story. Sequel to "I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus." Not exactly necessary to read it, but it would
help. John/Sherlock pairing.
For Auld Lang Syne
John Watson bit his lip as he surveyed the veritable buffet before him. He was just tall enough to reach all of the serving
platters. There were some items he knew and adored, and some foods he had never seen before in his six years of life. His
Mum had gone to a lot of trouble to make everything perfect. It all looked delicious.
The excitement in the air was so thick, John wondered how he had managed to sleep through it during the previous New Year's
parties in the past. He didn't know if his excitement stemmed from the oncoming New Year, or because he was actually at the
party for the first time. He picked up a miniature quiche and nibbled on it. He wanted to try everything. This was his first
party, his first real grown-up party, and he didn't want to miss out on anything.
"John, dear, why don't you get a plate so you don't have to hover around the table." His mother ran her fingers through his hair
He looked up at her and smiled widely. He was just so happy that he was allowed to stay up tonight. "But I want to try
Mum bent a bit and smoothed her hands over the new dressing gown he had gotten for Christmas. It was just like Dad's.
John loved it.
She fixed the collar and tied the knot a bit tighter. "Well, take a plate and put a little bit of everything on it then. And come
back if you can't fit it all, or want some more. I'm sure other people would like to get to the table as well."
John fidgeted. He didn't want to be in the way. Maybe they'd send him to bed early. He dropped his head. "I'm sorry."
Mum shook her head. "It's all right for you to be excited, John. You've never been allowed up this late and it's new for you."
She brushed her hand through his hair again. "Other than the hovering, you're behaving like the perfect little gentleman I know
you are." That said, she handed him a small paper plate. "Remember not to take too much, dear. There's plenty of food and I
don't want you getting sick."
John smiled up at his mother and looked at the table. He quickly chose a few items before going over to sit at a small table that
had been set up for him and the few other children attending the party with their parents. He sat and nibbled on a meat-filled
Father approached with a fancy-looking plastic glass and smiled. "Ginger ale for you and your sister. Don't take any drinks
from anyone other than your mother or I. All right?"
John nodded obediently before looking around to see that many adults had glasses identical to his. Then he understood and
nodded again. "I won't, Dad."
He was rewarded by one of his father's pleased smiles. "Good boy. Are you enjoying yourself?"
John beamed and nodded. "Yes, Dad. Mum told me not to hover by the table and gave me a plate."
"If you don't like something, set it aside. Don't force yourself to eat food you dislike."
His father chuckled. He patted John on the head and ruffled his hair. "I'll be back in a bit to see how you're doing."
John smiled and went back to the food, nibbling on things. Some things he liked, others he didn't. What he didn't like, he
pushed to the edges of his plate.
A squeal of high-pitched voices rang out. John looked up to watch his sister dart across the room and into the next, followed
closely by a number of their cousins. All of them were girls, a few older than Harry, a couple younger. But none were John's
age, so they more or less ignored him in favor of his energetic and boisterous older sister. John didn't mind. He didn't know
them too well anyway. They were from out-of-town. He only ever saw them for holidays. He would have liked another boy
there to talk to, but he was having a great deal of fun where he was. The adults were interesting, and there was some program
on the telly that had various musicians and other performers between people talking. He felt like Harry was the one missing out
on all the fun.
He lost complete track of time. He went back to the table for more food twice more, eventually tasting everything and having
more of a couple things he liked quite a lot. Every so often, either his mum or dad checked how he was and gave him some
more ginger ale if he wanted some. Before he knew it, the excitement in the air was growing and the people started crowding
around the telly.
Because everyone else seemed to be gathering, John wandered over as well. Harry and a couple of the girls were giddy with
excitement as the people on the television started counting backwards. John was just confused really. He didn't understand
what all the fuss was about.
When they got to ten, the people at the party started counting down as well. John, carried away by the excitement around him,
joined in. He didn't really notice when one of his cousins pushed through the crowd to stand beside him.
A great, roaring cheer rang out when they reached zero. Shouts of "Happy New Year!" went around the room. A hand landed
on John's shoulder and he turned to be faced by a girl a bit taller than him. His cousin, her name was Miranda, he thought, was
smiling down at him. She leaned toward him and pressed her lips against his.
Startled, John shoved her away and wriggled his way through the boisterous crowd. Tears were prickling in the corners of his
eyes. Why had she done that? He hadn't done anything to her.
He was halfway to his room when a pair of familiar arms swept him up. He didn't struggle, or whine. Instead, he threw his
legs around his mother's waist and clung to her, trying to stifle his tears against her shoulder.
"Oh, Johnny, what's wrong?" she asked, rubbing her hand up and down along his back.
"Miranda tried to bite me!" he complained loudly, wiping little fingers over his eyes.
There was a moment of stunned silence before Mum chuckled kindly. "Oh, John. She didn't try to bite you. She kissed you."
John sniffled and pouted in thought as his mother carried him into his room. "Why would she want to do that? She doesn't
even talk to me most of the time."
Mum sat down with John on her lap. "Well, dear, at the stroke of midnight on New Year's Eve, it is the custom to kiss
someone, usually someone you love, or at least care about." She ran her fingers through his hair. "Do you understand?"
John frowned and rested his head on her shoulder. "Not really, but if you say it's so, then it must be."
His mum's response was to kiss his forehead. "Well, it's time for you to go to bed. Happy New Year, John."
John smiled at her. "Happy New Year, Mum." He leaned forward and kissed his mother on the cheek.
It was snowing and the streets were slippery as John and Sherlock raced through back alleys and seemingly random streets in
an effort to get ahead of the man they were chasing. As always, Sherlock was in the lead and John was struggling to keep up
with him. John had no idea where they were, the twisting turns leaving him utterly lost, whereas Sherlock had a mind like a
GPS unit and was navigating easily by memory.
John stumbled to a halt, nearly colliding with Sherlock who had abruptly stopped running. Sherlock looked around himself
wildly, trying to locate their quarry in the crowd around them. John stood with his hands braced on his knees, trying to catch
his breath back during this brief respite.
Distantly, John heard the start of a far-off countdown and remembered that tonight was New Year's Eve. There were parties
all over tonight, people celebrating with loved ones. And here he was, chasing down a thief who might have witnessed the
murder of two university students three nights ago.
John straightened and glanced at Sherlock. He seemed oblivious to the raucous calls of the party-goers. John remembered that
night last week, when Sherlock had stunned him with a kiss under the mistletoe. All right, so it had been at the sight of a grisly
murder, but it was still memorable. It had only been a peck, a quick touch of lips and there had been no other kisses since
then. Or anything else for that matter. Maybe it was only because of the mistletoe. Sherlock wasn't exactly normal. Who
knew what prompted some of his actions.
Considering his options in the blink of an eye, John threw caution to the wind. At the stroke of midnight, he grabbed Sherlock
by the collar and hauled him down. The kiss was awkward at first, for the speed of it, teeth clicking together. John tasted a
hint of blood in his mouth and felt a spark of pain as his lip split. Sherlock grunted, but acquiesced, parting his lips and
accepting John's tongue into his mouth.
A single taste was all John took. He pulled away, already feeling a blush creeping over his features. He coughed, glancing
about at anything for fear of seeing disdain in his friend's eyes. Thankfully, a distraction was quick to arrive.
"Over there!" John shouted, seeing the man they were after. He slapped Sherlock's arm and took off after the fleeing thief.
Sherlock was silent, not following for a moment. Then he raced after them, giving a quick reply as he passed him. "What was
that about 'personal boundaries' again, John?" he asked with a laugh and a wink that left John's heart racing just a little bit faster.