Title: This Christmas Thing

Author: Angel Leviathan

Spoilers: Duet

Disclaimer: Stargate Atlantis, characters, concept, etc, aren't mine.

Notes: Sequel/follow up to 'This Year'.

He was about ready to kill himself.

That, or run screaming for the hills. If there were hills. If he could find any hills.

"Are you telling me we don't have a turkey?"

"I'm telling you there are most likely multiple turkeys, but not in the form we could parade in on a platter…"

"Then we don't have a turkey!" Rodney insisted.

"We have more than one turkey!" Cadman shouted.

Yep. Ronon was definitely about ready to kill himself. The only thing stopping him at that moment was the fact that he didn't have any suitable implements on him to complete the task. That, and the presence of Teyla. But even she was only just making the situation bearable. So far, during his short two week stay on Earth, he was certain he had yet to meet a sane human being. All of them seemed to be excited about the freezing cold weather and a day when they'd get to deceive their children into thinking someone had broken into their homes and left gifts. Nobody Ronon had ever known to break into dwellings had ever left gifts. The opposite, in fact. He understood that the children actually wanted to encourage this person into their homes with letters and food. Seeing as he knew of no other 'mythological' deity on Earth to send some desperate prayers for his ordeal to be over, he had started to compose a short letter to the man in question in his head. So far, it went along the lines of 'Dear Santa, please for the love of whatever is sacred on this planet let our return to the city of the Ancestors be swift. The people here are of questionable sanity and although the same can certainly be said of those who inhabit Atlantis, there are only a few hundred to deal with, and not several billion.'

"Not a proper turkey," McKay decided to sulk.

"If you don't shut up, you will be the turkey!" Laura snapped.

"Alright, alright, goodwill to all men and all tha', even Rodney," Carson interrupted, an arm round Laura's waist to guide her away from McKay and back into step with him.

"I resent that remark…" the scientist muttered.

"Aye, I'm sure you do…"

What made it worse was that Teyla at least understood the situation, having been involved in the celebrations the previous year, and though she was as out of place on Earth as he was, she was still trying, and succeeding, he assumed, to have fun. Which left Ronon pacing along beside her, stern features fixed in place, determined not to look at all confused or bemused. Never show weakness. Who knew? There were enough people swarming around them, they might hunt in packs if they discovered a weak point to charge.

"What else is on the list Doctor Weir gave us?" Teyla questioned, trying to change the subject.

Kate Heightmeyer fished around in her pocket for the piece of paper she had nearly misplaced, "Elizabeth," she stressed, shooting a mock glare at the Athosian, "says we need more music," she glanced to the bottom of the list, where 'more fairy lights!' had been scrawled in a distinctively different hand, "and it seems Colonel Sheppard is continuing his fairy lights fixation…maybe I should speak to him about it when we get back…"

"Where do we get music from?" Ronon dared to ask, "I thought you people sang your own songs."

"We do, but there are specific ones for Christmas," Carson elaborated, "and to be honest, I could hardly call some of our attempts back in Atlantis 'singing'."

"That's for sure…" Laura shot a half grin at Rodney.

"Oh come on, you never sing in your head?" he demanded of her.

"Hell yeah, but at least I make myself sound good!" she laughed.

"I'm forever going to be tormented by this body sharing thing, aren't I?"

"Be thankful she hasn't mentioned anything else, McKay," Ronon muttered.

"What does that mean?" Rodney stared around at his companions.

Teyla looked away, hiding a smile, and drew the denim jacket she wore more tightly around her. When Ronon suddenly held out one side of the floor length coat he wore, one arm draping it around her and drawing her close, she nodded her thanks and smiled just a little more.

Kate giggled and stared at the floor, before she attempted to look Rodney in the eye and started laughing again.

"Hang on, I'll catch up with you," Laura hesitated, waving them on, before she headed across to the other side of the street.

"She's afraid. She's escaping. Coward," McKay pretended to taunt.

"Yes, Rodney…" Carson sighed, in a much suffered tone.

"Oh wow, there's an ice rink!" Kate suddenly exclaimed, "We have to go skating!"

"…Skating?" a hint of fear crept into Ronon's voice.

"Skating?" Teyla echoed, curious.

"There's this huge sheet of ice, you put blades on your shoes and glide across it," she explained.

"If you're any good," Carson amended.

Oh he really didn't like the sound of this… Ronon exchanged a confused glance with Teyla, who seemed somewhat delighted by the idea. Not the reaction he had been hoping for.

"Hey, I can see the Colonel…!" Kate laughed, "He's on the ice!"

"Colonel Sheppard?" Teyla stared.

"The very same!"

"Hey!" Laura seemed to appear from nowhere, bouncing back, arms briefly around Carson's shoulders, before she ran to the other side of the group and stood on her tiptoes, holding something out.

"…What is going on?" Teyla looked up, frowning, at the spring of green plant in her friend's hand.

"…Is this some blessing I've missed the point of?" Ronon blinked.

"Oh no…" Rodney smirked.

Kate folded her arms, "It means the two of you have to kiss. We hang it in doorframes in our houses around Christmas…and pull it on unsuspecting people…"

"…We have to…kiss…?" Teyla repeated, uncertain.

To fend off more taunting, Ronon decided to be a gentleman and kissed her on the cheek, glancing around for a reaction, and feeling rather unsettled when he didn't get one.

"No. Really kiss," Laura mimicked Rodney's smirk.

"Couldn't have said it better myself," Kate smiled.

"Aw, Leave them alone," Carson chided, voice gentle, "Don't listen to them…" he assured the non Earth-natives.

"Hey, Elizabeth's with the Colonel…" Kate uttered, staring toward the ice rink.

Teyla shook her head slightly, exhaling with an affected 'if we must' attitude. Whilst she was certain the group was distracted, she hauled Ronon's head down to hers and kissed him with the same rough passion she had seen in his eyes on so many occasions and wondered why he had done nothing with it.

"Oh my eyes!" Rodney exclaimed, clamping his hands over them, but he wasn't staring at Ronon or Teyla.

Laura laughed, "Looks like Colonel Sheppard and Doctor Weir don't need mistletoe…!"

Kate smiled, "…She looks happy…"

"So does he," Carson commented, "Let's leave them to it. Nobody need know we saw anything," he stressed.

"Excellent plan," McKay answered, looking strangely traumatised.

"Erm, guys…" Laura was now standing a few feet away from her victims, arms folded and mistletoe on the floor, "You need air you know…"

Both seemed to disagree as he drew Teyla closer to him, continuing to kiss her, in a slow, lazier fashion, arms around her, both figures folded into his coat. When he finally broke away from her, he smiled when she shot him a feral grin, "…So can we do this Christmas thing more often?"