CHRISTMAS – STARGATE STYLE
Dragonlots aka Dana Bell
"I'm sorry, general." Walter laid the latest report on Hammond's desk and tactfully withdrew.
With a deep sorry filled sigh the general picked up the report. SG1 was still missing after a month in the Arctic. Their initial mission had been to retrieve a crashed gou'ald mother ship near the North Pole. There had been sporadic mission reports at first and then nothing. He'd sent a rescue team but they had found no trace of the ship nor SG1. He hated to give up on them. They were the best team he had. Yet pressures from higher up were demanding he give up the search and concentrate resources on finding a way to defeat their alien enemies.
"I'm sorry, Jack," he said as he made the decision to stop searching.
"Is that a polar bear directing traffic?" Jack asked leaning slightly over the balcony to stare into the street below.
"What?" Sam joined him her face reflecting her disbelief at such a silly question.
"Polar bear doing what?" Daniel stood in the door wondering what had gotten into his friends.
"I don't believe it." Sam stepped back inside the room where the temperature was warmer.
"Now that," Jack stated moving into the room and sitting down in an overstuffed chair. "Has got to be the strangest site I've ever seen."
A faint knock on the door stopped further discussion. It opened and Teal'c joined them.
"Wondered where you were," Jack commented.
"I'm sorry," a child like voice addressed them. The girl was dressed in a long purple velvet gown and had a princess style pointed hat on her head. "It took us longer to get your friend back on his feet. I brought him to you when he felt better."
"Thanks." The colonel got to his feet. He towered above her. "Mind if I ask where we are?"
"The North Pole, of course," she responded matter of factly.
"The North Pole?" Sam questioned.
The girl smiled. "There will be someone here to explain in more detail soon." She headed for the door. "I have to get back to my duties."
"Now wait a minute," Jack began.
"I'm sorry, sir. But you really need to wait." She opened the door. "Oh, I do suggest you stay here unless you have an escort. It's easy to get lost." She left them.
"Easy to get lost?" Daniel's eyebrows were raised.
"And since when do we do what we're told?" Jack grinned.
The presence of four complete strangers was throwing a monkey wrench into the works and Santa tapped his plumb fingers on the desk in frustration. Christmas was only a few days away and there was just so much work to do.
"You okay, dear?" Carole placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Why now?" he grumped. "We've been so careful to go undetected and now,"
"Well, you couldn't very well just leave them out there to freeze."
"No," he agreed. "I couldn't."
"You did the right thing, Scott," she reassured him.
"I sure hope so."
The hallways were colorful and children ran hurriedly along ducking into various doors. SG1 slowly walked through the mayhem rather surprised no one tried to stop them. They saw a door that said ballroom and round shapes bouncing behind them.
Daniel stopped and muttered. "No, it couldn't be."
"Daniel?" Sam's tone held puzzlement.
They wandered on finally finding the outside door. Taking the steps they openly stared around in wonder. A village met their eyes full of Christmas colors and reminding them all that the holiday wasn't all that far away.
"What are you doing out here?" A tall young looking man approached them. He put his hands on his hips and glared. "You were supposed to stay in your room."
"I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill."
"Whatever. I'm Bernard - head elf. Follow me." He turned like he expected them to obey.
"Now wait a minute," Jack objected. "I want some answers."
Bernard dusted a bit of snow off his velvet top decorated with gold stripes and sunbursts. "I'm not the one to answer. My boss is. Now, please, come with me."
"Guess we'd better follow," Sam suggested.
The elf, if that was really what he was, led them back through the hallways to a door. The girl they'd seen earlier came out carrying a pewter tray and large cup.
"He in, Abby?" Bernard asked.
She narrowed her eyes at SG1. "He is."
"Thanks." He motioned to the team. "Stay here." He knocked. "Santa, it's Bernard." A muffled voice replied and the boy stuck his head in. "They're awake and asking questions."
"Well, have them come in."
The elf held the door open. "You heard him."
They moved past him into a bright red room. A sleigh bed rested against one wall, a large desk in a corner, and toys along with a puppet stage were scattered everywhere else.
"Hello." The large rotund man rose from behind the desk. He was dressed entirely in red, complete with white hair and a very long beard. "Welcome to the North Pole."
"Ohhh," both the puppets screamed and ducked behind their stage curtains. The male puppet seeming to regain his courage slowly rose up to peak out at them.
Distracted by their antics Jack did a double take. "North Pole?"
"Yes. You're at the North Pole. One of my reindeer in training found you and let us know about it. I took the sleigh out and brought you back."
"And you are?"
Sam's mouth dropped open. "Santa Claus?"
Jackson shook his head with eyes closed. "I knew it."
"The mythical being who flies through the air delivering toys all over the world?" Teal'c asked.
"The very same," Santa agreed with a wide grin. "But I'll bet you're hungry. The kitchen is always open. What can I get for you?"
A woman entered from an adjoining door. "Scott, I, oh, hello."
"This is my wife," Santa introduced.
"Welcome," she walked toward them with a smile. "I'm Carole."
"I don't believe in Santa or Mrs. Claus," Sam said.
"Well, that's not surprising," Santa agreed. "Most adults don't. Abby," The girl stood just inside the door. "Would you get some refreshments for our guests."
"Certainly, sir." She left with a final glare at them.
"Don't mind her. She's very protective." Claus motioned to a couch and several chairs that had suddenly appeared. "Please, sit."
Jack gingerly sat down. The rest sat as well testing to see if the furniture was real.
"Most adults don't believe in magic either." He sent a knowing look at his wife. She bent and kissed his cheek in return.
"I was skeptical at first, too," she told them taking a chair. "But Scott showed me differently." She sighed with deep longing. "It was so nice to believe again."
"She keeps calling you Scott," Daniel observed.
"That was my name. Scott Calvin. Long story and I won't bore you with the details."
"Here are your refreshments," Abby reappeared with hot chocolate, cookies, fruit plate, and several other goodies. She had some elves for assistance and when the food was placed they quickly exited.
Santa grabbed a cookie and a cup of hot chocolate. "Hmmm, nothing better on a cold night." He winked at his wife. "Well, almost."
She blushed and sipped chocolate herself.
"You rescued us," Daniel began when no one else seemed willing to say anything.
"How do we get home?"
The memorial service went off with a hitch and George Hammond suffered through the condolences of his fellow officers and dignitaries from Washington. Master Bratak had come to honor Teal'c . When the ceremony was complete the older man left back through the Stargate and Hammond retreated to his office.
Slowly he put the teams' files away in a locked cabinet and sat heavily on his chair. Life was going to be very dull with them gone.
"Christmas is only a few days away," Santa commented as he gave the team a tour of the workshop. "You have to understand this is our busiest time of year."
"Of course," Daniel agreed walking beside the plump man.
The rest of the group followed behind staring at the toys, the elves, and anything else that caught their attention.
"This can't be real," Sam muttered.
Jack stopped and grabbed a toy tank off the assembly line. "Feels real. Hey," he called to Santa. "Can I keep this?"
Santa laughed and nodded. They followed him along into the stalls. Elves scurried about brushing the reindeer, feeding them carrots, and working on the harnesses.
Sam reached out and pet the nose of the reindeer.
"Look out," someone yelled.
They all ducked as a reindeer flew overhead bumping into the wall and crashing to the ground.
"Chet," Santa lectured. "You can do better than that. Concentrate."
The reindeer muttered something.
"Now, now. If you ever expect to fly my sleigh again you have to practice."
"Dad!" A young man rushed through the stable and grabbed Santa in a big hug.
"Charlie! I didn't know you were coming."
"Uncle Scott!" A little red headed girl pushed past them and hugged the man as well.
"Lucy!" He pulled her up into his arms. "How did you two get here?"
"Comet brought us," Charlie explained.
"What? You couldn't wait until Christmas Eve?"
Charlie shrugged. "Schools out."
"Your mom and Neal know where you are?"
"Yes, dad. You don't think I could've brought Lucy without them knowing?"
"I want to see everything!" Lucy wiggled down and jumped up and down with excitement.
"You do?" Santa grinned. "Bernard!"
The head elf sauntered in. "Yes, Santa?"
"Lucy wants to see everything."
"Sure." He extended a hand. "How about some hot chocolate first?"
"I want to see toys!"
"We'll see them on the way."
She took the elf's hand they walked through the stable. Lucy pet several of the reindeer and giggled.
"How's your mom, Charlie?"
"Santa with a son," Jack said.
"Long story," Charlie answered.
The president wanted Hammond to pick a new SG1 preferably before the holidays. The general stalled convincing his commander and chief it would be better to wait until after the new year began.
He sat in his office and raised a glass to a picture of team. "Here's to you." He drank down the contents in silent respect.
"I don't see how all the gifts could possibly fit into your sleigh." Sam examined the ancient symbol.
"It's magic," Santa replied.
"Just like him getting down the chimney." Charlie laughed joined by Santa like they shared a private joke.
"You have no idea what a find this place is," Daniel spoke up. "Imagine what it would do for the world to know that this is all real."
"You can't tell anyone," Charlie told them.
"And why not?"
"Who would believe you?" Santa put in. "Don't you think they'd lock you up somewhere?"
Daniel and the rest exchanged a look. "You might be surprised."
Christmas Eve on the base was relatively quiet. Most with families were already gone, all the off world teams were back, and Hammond stood in the gate room alone.
"I wish you'd come back," he stated. "But, I know you aren't going to."
Maybe he'd take the next week or so and figure out who the new flagship team should be.
"There' s plenty of room," Santa assured the group as he, Charlie, Lucy, crawled into the front of the sleigh.
"Plenty of room," Jack mimicked getting in the back.
Sam and Daniel shrugged and got in as well followed by Teal'c.
"On Dasher, and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen," Santa called.
"On Comet, and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen!" The two kids shouted.
"I'll wait up, dear!" Mrs. Claus yelled as she waved.
The reindeer launched upward and they flew above the town and out a hole in the ice. The night air bit into their cheeks.
"There's a blanket back there," Santa told them. "You'll have to share though."
They stopped numerous times as Santa took his bag, went down the chimney, delivered gifts and returned. Sometimes he had carrots for the reindeer. He shared his cookies with everyone and finally he stopped at house where the kids got off. He landed in the yard though, instead of the roof. A couple rushed out hugged him and collected the children.
"Did you have fun?" the woman wanted to know.
"I loved it!" Lucy glowed. "I got to see the reindeer and the workshop and…"
"You can tell us all about it later," her father said. "Right now, I want you two up into bed so Santa can leave your presents."
Lucy hugged Santa. "See you later, Uncle Scott.'
"See you, Lucy."
Charlie and Lucy went inside.
"Thanks for letting them visit."
"Anytime big guy," the man said.
"Merry Christmas, Santa," the woman said and they went inside.
"Now," he moved the sleigh to the roof, went down the chimney and came back out. "Let's get you home."
The Stargate began to dial on its own. Hammond jumped back and dashed up to the control room. Walter was frantically trying to get the gate to stop.
"We can't stop it!" He told the general.
"None! And the iris won't close!"
Bulging water sprang out like it always did when the wormhole opened up. From dead center a sleigh pulled by reindeer appeared. In the front seat was a fat man in a red suit complete with white hair and beard.
Hammond and Walter looked at each other.
"I don't believe it!" Hammond shook his head.
"You're home," Santa told them.
SG1 slowly got out of the sleigh in the gate room.
"Thanks, Santa." Daniel appreciated the lift.
"More than welcome. Oh," he turned and grabbed his bag. "Almost forgot." He handed them all presents plus a couple more. "Merry Christmas!"
With a quick turn he went back through the Stargate.
"Hammond's never going to believe this."
"You realize," Hammond stated at the debriefing. "That we can never tell anyone about this."
"Isn't that what Charlie said?" Daniel prompted.
"I still can't believe it's true." Sam sat back in her chair.
"Well," Hammond closed the report file and sealed it with a classified stamp. "At least you're home now." He pushed the paper aside and grabbed his gift. "Merry Christmas!"
Everyone echoed his sentiment. "Merry Christmas!" Then each turned to their gifts and tore off the paper in child like excitement. Except Teal'c who still didn't quite understand the holiday.