Fitz watched the clock in the lab tick towards the twelve. In less than fifteen minutes it'd be 2015. He wasn't really one to care about Earth finishing another trip around the sun, but so much had happened the past year it was inevitable that he'd slowly come to a halt in his work to think back on the year.
It felt like the past year had been a losing one. He'd almost lost his friends multiple times. He lost his abilities. He lost his speech. He very nearly lost his best friend.
Yet, at the same time, it felt like a year of perseverance. His friends always made it, even when it was hard and it seemed impossible, all the people he called family were going into 2015 with him. He's making it too. Fitz had finally given up on thinking he'd never get better, that he'd never talk and communicate normally again, that he'd never be able to use his hands the same way. He was no stranger to hard work and Fitz was ready for whatever challenges were ahead of him, especially since he knew his best friend would be beside him for another year.
Every year with Jemma was a year worth celebrating, he supposed. They'd gotten closer and farther apart this year, changed and argued, but came back to each other in the end. That was the most important part, that he hadn't eternally lost the sun to his Earth. His life revolved around her and this year especially he realized how unhealthy that was, but now he knew how to be just Fitz again. Now he chose to revolve around her. It wasn't necessary to his existence, but it was what he wanted and every second with her was a good one.
A soft hand brushed against his calloused fingers. He jumped, but relaxed at the sight of his favorite person in the world.
Speak of the devil, he mused.
"I thought I'd find you down here. Are you really working on New Year's?" The lilt of her voice relaxed him and he nearly closed his eyes to drown in it.
"My hands were feelin' a wee bit twitchy. I just needed to give'em somethin' to do." At that, he gently intertwined his hand with hers. He tried not to linger on her face too long. They still hadn't really discussed his confession in the medpod besides Jemma asking for time to process everything. Fitz didn't really mind. Their friendship was a billion times more important.
"Well, then it seems we'll both be spending another New Year's in the lab." She smiled and a pleasant explosion of butterflies erupted in his chest. "Though I think technically Earth will finish its revolution after midnight."
He merely hummed in agreement, savoring the soft warmth of her hand and her presence next to him. If nothing else, he's glad he stopped taking her for granted this year.
He glanced at the clock to find it seconds away from hitting midnight.
"Ten," he started.
"Nine," Jemma continued.
"Seven," she turned to face him.
"Five," she took his other hand.
"Three," she stepped closer.
"Two," Fitz whispered it, finding it hard to breathe with Jemma leaning so close to him.
"One," she whispered just as quietly before pressing her lips against his.
He barely registered the sound of people cheering in the common room. He was too distracted by the fact that Jemma was kissing him. He felt disconnected and hypersensitive all at the same time.
Fitz shakily pulled one of his hands away to rest it on her cheek, ghosting it over her as if she'd disappear if he wasn't careful. He slowly kissed back and if her smile set off an explosion of butterflies then her kiss set off a supernova. Some star in his chest named Jemma was exploding in bright impossible colors while scattering stardust into every part of his being and everything was just her.
Reluctantly, and much too quickly for Fitz's liking, Jemma pulled away. He blinked stupidly and opened his mouth to say something, but all he could manage was looking like a fish trying to breathe.
She giggled and stepped forward to hug him. "I think I've figured everything out."
"O-oh?" He was struggling to pay attention, still a bit dazed.
"You're my best friend in the world, but you're also more than that." She looked up at him.
Fitz locked eyes with her, breath knocked straight out of him, and marveled at the shades of gold and brown he found in them. The most beautiful gems in the world could never hope to measure up to those orbs. He searched them for anything that would say that she was kidding or that he'd misheard her, but all he saw was the same look he tried to stop giving her so she wouldn't get uncomfortable.
A warmth spread through him and he smiled, well and truly smiled--the sort where it's impossible to hold back no matter how hard one might try not to look ridiculous.
"Really?" He murmered.
"Really." She assured him, leaning up to kiss him again.
He met her halfway, already content with the way 2015 was going for him.