Disclaimer: I do not own SGA or Santa Clause. I did make up Cassidy and Cody Banning, and the elf though

Summary: Two orphans from Earth find themselves on Atlantis. How'd they get there? Christmas magic of course. Why are they there? To find Santa.

Archive: McWeir Rating: PG (because it's one of those fluffy Christmas Stories, lol)
Pairing: McWeir, Sheyla

"Christmas Magic"

Chapter One: Rudolph the Rednosed...Cat?

Snow fell heavily in Colorado Springs obscuring vision and blanketing the ground. Most citizens were indoors, thankful for their warm fires and cursing the weather for messing up their plans, or outside trying to shovel the icy drops as fast as it fell and cursing the weather for messing up their plans, or were outside playing and thanking the weather for giving them the excuse to miss whatever they wanted to miss. Most citizens.

On this blistery December day, two children huddled together beside the red bricks of an apartment building, dressed in rags and obviously freezing. A little brown haired boy and a blond haired girl who both looked too young to be off by themselves. In a closed window above them, a grey tabby looked down, observing them. There was an intelligence in those green eyes that were not usual for a cat. After some moments, the window opened, and the cat was on the ground beside them.

It began purring and jumped lightly into the little boy's lap before stretching across and offering its warmth to the little girl as well.

Cody Banning smiled brightly at the small creature, grateful that it at least wanted to help out, because there was no way he and his sister were going to go back to that orphanage. Ever! He glanced over at the younger girl, and smiled slightly. All they had to do was find their aunt who lived in Hawaii, and they'd be well off.

Cody's mouth turned down at the corners as he stroked the cat's fur. Cassidy's face was turning blue from the cold, and her teeth had stopped chattering.

"Cass? You okay?"

She nodded mutely, holding her arms close to her chest. Cody moved closer to her and put his arm around her, hoping he could help warm her up. He didn't know much, but he did know that she probably had hypothermia.

"You just hang in there, kid," he told her, "because we're gonna make it to Aunt Lydia's. And there we'll be warm and safe and loved. You'll see."

Again, there was only a silent nod. Cass was only five years younger than him, but he was ten and mom had said on his birthday that that was the age he was allowd to become the man of the house. Which meant he was responsible for his little sister, more than ever now that Mom was dead.

All of a sudden, he felt her go limp against him. At first, he didn't know what to think, then he began panicking.

"Cass! Cass wake up!" He shook her as he yelled, his movements disturbing the feline that sat in his lap enough to make it move away slightly. "Don't go to sleep...you can't go to sleep. Remember...Aunt Lydia..." tears filled his eyes as he urged his sister to wake up, to say something...to nod, anything but lay there so still.

Then something strange happened. There was a sudden blazing red light, and then warmth fell across his face. Sniffling, he looked towards the direction it came from only to find himself gaping in amazement. The cat was standing in front of them, it's little nose glowing bright red.

The light began to grow brighter, and Cody had to shield his eyes. When he took his hand away, he was surprised to find himself somewhere completely different from where they had been at before. In fact, if he didn't know any better...he'd say they were in some kind of abandoned factory.

All around were tables filled with unfinished and broke toys...as though everyone had stopped working and left all at once. He looked around for the cat, and found himself gazing into the dark gaze of a reindeer with a shiny red nose.

"This...is this...the North Pole?" Cody asked, wonder filling his voice.

The reindeer tilted its head to the side, a twinkle appearing in its eyes, which Cody took to be confirmation. "Whoopeee!" he yelled.

Then he grew more sober and looked down at Cass, who was still slumped against him. Her face, though, was no longer blue. Her cheeks were nice and rosy again, and a smile was on her lips, as though she were having a really good dream. Still afraid that he might lose her, he shook her shoulder.

"Mm...wha...?" Cass slowly opened her eyes, then sat up and gaped at her surroundings. "Cody!" she exclaimed, turning to him, "We're in Santa's workshop!"

Cody grinned and hugged her tightly, so very glad that she was okay. He had just lost Mom, and he didn't know how he'd go on without the sweet little girl who was oftentimes the bane of his existence. "Yeah, I noticed," he told her, "thanks to Rudolph here."

The reindeer's ears perked up at his name, and he made a strange bugling sound. Cass stood up, her recent trauma completely forgotten as she lost herself in the wonder of the moment, and ran over to Rudolph, hugging him tightly around the neck. "Oh thank you so much, Rudolph! I love you..."

Cody's grin grew wider as he watched the display, then he stood up as well and took off his ragged coat. It was a lot warmer inside the factory than it had been where at the last spot, and he didn't want to get a cold from going between such extremes. He walked over and helped Cass out of hers, then looked around. He didn't see any place to put them, and it didn't seem right somehow to just leave them lying around.

"How come there's no elves?" Cass asked suddenly, her hand on the reindeer's neck, "and where's Santa."

"Where's Santa? Where's Santa? Who knows where Santa is, I certainly don't."'

Cody and Cass both jumped at the sound of the voice, looking around wildly for the source. There didn't seem to be any. Cody stepped closer to Cass in a protective manner, then cleared his throat and said in the deepest voice he could, "Who's there? Who said that?"

"I did, you pint sized pipsqueak." This time Cody followed the voice to its owner and found himself gaping for the third time that day. It was a sculpture of an elf, and looked as if it had been frozen in the middle of what it had been doing. In it's hands were a hammer and a toy boat. "Well, don't just stand there all day, come over here so I can look at you both. Honestly, Rudolph, couldn't you have chosen a brighter pair? No? Well, I suppose beggars can't be choosers..."

"I'm making straight A's in school!" Cody protested, frowning, "And you shouldn't insult people and what do you mean Rudolph chose us? What'd he choose us for?"

"To find Santa!" Cass exclaimed happily, "Right?"

"Oh wonderful!" the elf praised, "At least one of you is intelligent. That's something to look forward to."

Rudolph snorted and shook his head before walking over to the elf statue and laying down. Cass, in that naviete that children under the age of ten often have, followed and sat down beside him. "I'm five," she told the elf, "And Cody's ten. He's older than me and knows lots of things."

"Cassidy!" Cody admonished, "you shouldn't talk to strangers like that!"

"But he's not a stranger, he's an elf, Cody!"

With an annoyed sigh, Cody gave up and went to sit beside his sister. "Why do you need us to find Santa?"

"Because he's missing, that's why. Has been for fifty years..."

"Fifty years!" Cass exclaimed, "Wow, he must be lots older than me and Cody. How'd he get missing?"

Cody frowned slightly. "But if he's been missing for fifty years, then how come we still got presents from him every Christmas?"

The elf was silent for a long moment, and Cody wondered if it hadn't gone to sleep. Then, in a sad little voice, he began, "Because of Christmas spirit."

"Why he's missing, or why we still get presents from him?"

"Both. You see...fifty years ago, Christmas began to get commercialized. Fewer and fewer people believed in Santa after a certain age...and then they started giving their children presents using Santa's name. This caused Christmas spirit to drop further and further."

"But then...why did Santa leave?" Cody wondered, "Did he just disappear? Or did he get kidnapped? Or...?"

"If you'll hold your questions to the end," the elf muttered huffily, "maybe you'll find out some things."

"Sorry," Cody muttered back.

"Thank you. Now, where was I? Oh yes. This saddened Santa so much that...well...he stopped believing in himself."

"He stopped believing in himself?" Cass asked, "That's terrible!"

If the elf could have nodded, it would have, Cody thought. It would have beamed at Cass also. "Yes, yes it is. Getting others to believe in you is a difficult thing, but when you don't believe in yourself it becomes impossible. And because he stopped believing, Christmas spirit dropped far below its levels and has been dropping for over fifty years. Ever since Santa left."

"So, you want us to find Santa, and bring him back here?"

"No, I want you to find Santa and help him believe in himself again. Then he'll come back on his own."

Cody swallowed and folded his arms across his chest. That was a lot of responsibility, and he wasn't even certain he could keep himself and Cass alive long enough to get to Aunt Lydias. "I don't...how will we know if we find Santa?"'

"I'll know!" Cass shouted, "Because he'll be warm and have twinkling eyes! Just like Rudolph!"

The reindeer nuzzled the little girl's hand. "Yes," said the elf, "the heart of a child always knows. And Rudolph of course."

"But," Cody was still unsure of himself, "How are we supposed to even begin looking?"

"By using what is left of the Christmas magic," the elf said softly, "it will take you to the general vicinity of where he is at. The rest will be up to you three. Remember, in order to get back home you must complete your goal. Until Santa begins believing in himself again, there will be no more magic."

Cody sat staring stonily at the stone elf, his mind working in overdrive. Again, this was a big responsibility. He couldn't even keep Cass warm when she needed it. How was he supposed to find Santa?

"Oh, by the way...did I mention this must be done by midnight on Christmas Eve?"

A groan escaped Cody's lips and he lay back on the ground. It was impossible. It couldn't be done. "That's a week away, elf," Cody said, "There is no way we can find Santa and have him here by Christmas Eve. No way."

A small hand gently touched his own, and he opened his eyes to look up at Cassidy's serious face. "We can do it, Cody," she told him, "Remember what Mommy said?"

"That nothing's impossible if you believe in it enough. Well, I believed and believed that she'd get better, and she didn't!"

"But she did. She's not sick anymore now."

Tears filled Cody's eyes and he turned away, wiping at his face impatiently. "Got something in my eye," he muttered. Then he turned back. Rudolph, the elf and Cass were all staring at him expectantly. "Oh all right. We'll try. That's all we can do, right?"

Cass gave a loud whoop of joy and hugged him tightly around the neck. "Uh, Cass...can't breath..." The girl let go, still grinning in delight.

Cody sat up and looked expectantly at the elf. "So? What do we do now?"

tbc...

Next time....

"What is...Christmas?" Teyla asked, looking confused.

"Oh it's..." John began, only to be interrupted by McKay.

"It's a time for you to spend with your family, to watch little kids faces light up as they watch snow falling...."

"..and presents," John interjected, "can't forget the presents."

A sad little smile appeared on McKay's face. "No. We can't forget the presents. Can we." He abruptly stood and left the room.

"What's with him?"