Mistletoe and Wine – Part Two

One Year Later

"This party is much better than last year's," said Carson. He, Rodney, Ronon, Radek and John were standing by the open balcony door, hoping to catch a breeze from outside. It was a sweltering night.

There were murmurs of agreement, and John took a sip of his mulled wine. It was really good, and the first time he'd had mulled wine in years, but he couldn't help thinking of the punch from the other party. It would probably be better on a night like this.

Ah, who was he kidding? He'd been craving that punch all year for one reason and one reason only – it was what Teyla's kiss had tasted like.

"I don't know, last year's party had a nice homey feel to it," said John cryptically.

"Homey?" Asked Ronon.

John shrugged. "We were cut off from Earth, so we didn't have any Christmas stuff," he explained. "So we made decorations, and we had punch instead of mulled wine, and there was hardly any food…"

"And you think that was better?" Asked Rodney sardonically.

John shrugged and had some more mulled wine. He had to admit that the room looked amazing, with twinkling white lights everywhere, and sparkling ornaments hanging from the tree in the corner. The smell of the mulled wine filled the room, and Christmas music played from the new sound system. There was lots of Christmas themed food, and as everyone had had time to prepare for this one they had come dressed up.

It was a better party. John just couldn't help thinking of Ford, and how he'd talked about his hopes for this party. He would have loved this.

And Teyla… he hadn't seen Teyla all day. John had a feeling she was avoiding him – perhaps because she thought he'd try to get her under the mistletoe again. The second time he'd kissed her, a couple of months ago, hadn't been quite so laughable.

John sighed and finished off his mulled wine.

"There's actual mistletoe this year," said Rodney suddenly. John frowned – had he read his mind or something?

"What's mistletoe?" Asked Ronon.

"It's a plant," said Carson. "If you end up under the mistletoe with someone, you have to kiss them."

Ronon raised an eyebrow. "Why?"

There was a moment's silence. "I don't bloody know," said Carson, making everyone laugh. "It's just tradition."

"Last year Dr Vorash tried to get Lieutenant Anderson to kiss him under some random plant we'd found on the mainland," said Rodney. "She laughed in his face."

John couldn't help smiling at the memory, and the way Teyla had looked at him like he was a naughty schoolboy. Which he guessed he was in a way… it had been a little childish.

So worth it though.

At least, he'd thought so until today. Now he was worried that his actions had made Teyla wary of him.

"Where did you see the mistletoe?" Radek asked Rodney.

Rodney started to point into the crowd, but dropped his hand quickly. "One of the new officers," he said. He shrugged. "I don't know where she's gone. But she had some mistletoe."

"Mistletoe?"

Teyla appeared as if from nowhere, stepping up next to Rodney. She had a wide smile on her face, and was wearing a dark brown evening dress with spaghetti straps and a knee length skirt, and a pair of gold strappy sandals. Her hair was hanging down in loose waves around her shoulders.

John felt his jaw drop slightly, but recovered quickly, thankful that no one – especially Teyla – was looking at him.

"You look lovely," said Carson. Teyla's smile grew.

"Thank you, Carson," she said. "Lieutenant Granger leant me the dress, and I was not sure at first but now I quite like it."

She twirled around and John was torn between amusement at her high spirits and the need to drag her somewhere where no one would see the thigh she was flashing but him.

Teyla stopped twirling quickly, and turned to Rodney. "Rodney, is this mistletoe?" She asked him. She opened up her hand to reveal a sprig of mistletoe.

Rodney's eyes widened and he nodded. "Er, yeah," he said.

Teyla nodded. "Good, I just wanted to be sure," she said. Then, to John's everlasting shock, she raised the plant above her and Rodney's heads.

John thought that Rodney's eyes were going to bug out of his head, he looked so shocked. He flushed red and cleared his throat nervously.

"Um… Teyla I don't know if you know what it means when you have –"

Teyla rolled her eyes, stepped forward and kissed him, cutting him off very effectively.

The kiss lasted all of a second, but it was enough for John's grip on his glass to get dangerously tight. He forced himself to relax. What the hell was Teyla doing?

Teyla smiled at Rodney as she stepped back. "Happy Christmas, Rodney," she said.

Rodney gaped at her silently, and Teyla gave him another smile, and then stepped to his right so she was in front of Radek.

John put his empty glass down on the table next to them, truly worried that he would break it. She was going to kiss all of them. John wasn't sure whether that was a good thing – on the one hand it meant he got to kiss Teyla again, but on the other hand he was first going to have to watch her kiss all the other men between herself and him.

Radek looked around slightly nervously before he too got a kiss from Teyla, and a 'Happy Christmas'.

Carson laughed as Teyla moved on to him. "Enjoying the mulled wine, are you Teyla?" He asked her.

Teyla merely grinned and kissed him as well. John shook his head in disbelief. God, I hope she is drunk. Otherwise why would she be doing this?

John knew he was stupid to think that this was a bad thing, but somehow it… cheapened what had happened between them last year. And he knew that was really stupid, since that hadn't even been real mistletoe, and therefore was already pretty cheap. Still though…

Ronon was looking at Teyla as though she were completely insane. "You have got to be kidding me," he said flatly when she stepped in front of him. John couldn't help a small smile at the look on his face, and the fact the Teyla wasn't tall enough to get the mistletoe to reach over Ronon's head.

"Ah, go on son," said Carson, taking a sip of his wine. John shook his head again, a feeling of anticipation starting in his chest. It was his turn next…

Ronon rolled his eyes and obediently leant down so Teyla could kiss him.

"Happy Christmas, Ronon," Teyla said as he straightened up. Ronon just rolled his eyes again.

Teyla took a couple of steps and then turned to face John, who tried to keep his face passive. Now that she was standing in front of him, mistletoe in her hand, it was hard to keep from smirking.

Teyla cocked her head to one side, looking at John through narrowed eyes, a small smile on her face.

She grinned. "Happy Christmas, John," she said.

And then she was gone.

John's mouth dropped open in shock. "Wh-?" He heard laughter behind him and turned to find his four so-called friends cracking up at his expense. Even Ronon was shaking with silent laughter, and John had never seen him laugh before.

Rodney calmed his laughing enough to speak. "What did you do to her?" He asked John.

John glared at him. "I didn't do anything!" He said indignantly, though he knew that wasn't strictly true. If this was payback for what he did last year, then it was a bitch.

John swiped the glass of mulled wine from Ronon's hand and, glaring at his still-laughing companions, downed its contents.

XXXX

The party had wound right down when John wandered along the balcony a few hours later. Despite Teyla's little trick, he had actually had a pretty good time at the party, and he was now getting some fresh air to try and clear his head before he headed to bed. There were a few people still in the commissary, sitting around the tables and laughing, but the balcony was deserted.

John stopped and watched the white lights from the party twinkle on the water's surface for a few moments before turning to head back in.

It was then that he saw Teyla.

She was standing in the entrance to the commissary, leaning against the doorframe and watching him. She was framed with bright light from behind her, and the moonlight behind John lit her front almost as brightly. She looked almost ethereal.

John walked over to her slowly, his hands in his pockets. He leant a shoulder against the wall next to her, and gave her a lopsided smile.

"You know, a guy could feel slighted," he said.

Teyla raised an eyebrow at him. "Now John," she said calmly. "Everyone got one kiss under the mistletoe… you should not be greedy."

She stood up straight and walked round him so she was on his other side. John stood up straight as well and turned around to face her again. Now she was lit only by moonlight and a little harder to see, but he could still see the smile on her face.

John smiled back. "Well strictly speaking it wasn't mistletoe… but you're right," he said. "Greed is an ugly thing."

Teyla nodded, and took a couple of steps backwards. John didn't know what she was doing, and leant against the wall again, staying where he was.

"Did you enjoy the party?" Asked John.

Teyla smiled again. "I am sorry John, I cannot hear you," she said.

John rolled his eyes and took a couple of steps towards her. "Did you enjoy the party?" He repeated as he got closer.

Teyla nodded. "Yes I did," she said. "Did you?"

"Yeah," said John, smirking. "Especially the part where everyone was laughing at me all night."

Teyla just smirked right back. "Was that a complaint, John?" She asked sweetly.

"No, not at all," he answered. "I'm not greedy."

Teyla looked up, and John followed her gaze. On the wall above them was a festive, leafy arrangement was hung along the wall, and nestled amongst it, directly above their heads, was a sprig of mistletoe.

John's mouth dropped open as he looked back down at Teyla, who was watching him with one eyebrow raised. The little… John settled on a word that suited her and was suitably Christmassy… vixen.

Teyla shrugged nonchalantly. "It is tradition, though," she said.

John nodded in a businesslike manner. "Very true," he said seriously.

John took a step closer to Teyla, and she tipped her head back to look up at him. John allowed himself a moment to just look into her eyes, but then Teyla's hands brushed up against his chest on their way to his neck and he decided he could look into her eyes any time.

John covered Teyla's lips with his, gently brushing them while his hand came to rest ever-so-lightly on her hip. A year ago, he hadn't been ready when Teyla had kissed him. That time in the gym, he hadn't been in full control of his… um, instincts… now, he kissed Teyla as tenderly as he could.

He felt rather than heard Teyla moan slightly, and he wanted nothing more than to deepen the kiss. But he could taste the mulled wine on her lips, and knew that now wasn't the time. They were both drunk, and they were at a party, and there were issues. So many issues.

So instead he pulled back. His hand dropped from Teyla's hip, and hers dropped from where they had been caressing the sides of his neck.

They stood staring at each other in the moonlight, neither of them wanting to break the spell first.

A great shout of laughter from inside the commissary did that for them.

Teyla smiled. "Happy Christmas John," she said quietly.

"Happy Christmas Teyla."

Teyla smiled again – then she walked past him again, her arm brushing lightly against his as she did, and disappeared through the doorway.

John let out a breath and leant back against the wall. He looked up at the mistletoe and smiled.

Until next year.

The End