"Carter!" Jack greeted cheerily, opening the door to the bitter snowy air outside.
"Hello, sir," Sam managed to say through clattering teeth. Jack scooted out of the way.
"Come in, it's cold."
The colonel did as bid, eyeing the general amusedly. "I couldn't tell, sir."
Suddenly Jack leaned forward and planted a firm kiss on Sam's lips. She blinked rapidly for a few moments, the color in her cheeks no longer just from the cold.
Jack grinned brightly and pointed upwards. "Mistletoe!"
Sam followed his gaze and smiled warmly. "Of course, sir."
The general winked before herding her into the living room. "Hot cocoa?"
She nodded gratefully, sitting down and setting the packages in her arms by the fireplace. "That'd be nice."
As Jack got her cocoa ready, he glanced at the decorative presents.
"So…which one's for me?" he asked.
"Not until everyone else gets here!" she reprimanded defensively.
"Is it the long, skinny one that resembles a fishing rod?" the general prodded, handing a mug to her. Sam blushed.
Jack grinned. "Sweet."
Sam peered past Jack to the window. "Cam and Teal'c," she announced. "Are you going to answer the door?"
The older man frowned at her, confused by the tone in her voice. "Uh…why?"
"Oh! Uh, no, you can do that," Jack told her, pulling her up to her feet and giving her a gentle push towards the door. Practically as bouncy as Vala, Sam opened the door and, before either of the males could react, hopped up to give them both quick kisses on the nose. Cameron blinked.
"What's the occasion?" he asked as he and Teal'c shuffled into Jack's warm home. Sam grinned.
"Christmas!" she replied gleefully. Cam shook his head. Clearly the woman had been hanging out too much with a certain ex-con. Teal'c caught sight of the plant hanging from the ceiling.
"I believe she kissed us because there is mistletoe above our heads, Colonel Mitchell," Teal'c informed him. Cam glanced at the mistletoe.
"Ah. Getting into the Christmas spirit full throttle, General?" he asked, walking into the living room. Jack grinned again.
"Of course! Hot cocoa?"
"Sounds great," Cam replied, peeling off his coat and gloves. "Where's the tree, General?"
"Vala wanted to get it, apparently," Jack called in reply. Teal'c raised an eyebrow in amusement.
"I'm sure Daniel Jackson was thrilled."
Jack looked up abruptly, barely avoiding spilling the Jaffa and colonel's cocoa. "Was that sarcasm, Teal'c?"
Teal'c smiled. "Indeed, it was, General O'Neill."
Cameron jumped up. "I'll get it," he told them with a mischievous smirk. The others waited, listening amusedly as Cam answered the door.
"Lemme in, Mitchell. That woman dragged me—mmpff! What the hell was that?"
Jack's grin was on the brink of splitting his face. "Yes, Danny-boy?"
Daniel stormed into the living room, face flushed. "You—you—" he sputtered uncontrollably. Jack stood up, taking the linguist by the shoulders.
"Calm down, Spacemonkey. Where's your holiday spirit?"
"It sprinted out the door when Vala dragged me to a tree farm out where there's currently a blizzard and made me wait for her to pick out the so-called 'perfect' Christmas tree—in a blizzard!—that cost a whole lot more than it should have!" Daniel burst angrily.
"Danny! Yoo-hoo!" Vala bounded into the house, eyes wild with ecstasy and a bright red Santa hat on top her black pigtails. "I need help bringing the tree in!"
Grinning madly at the expression on Daniel's face, Jack stepped towards her. "I'll help, Vala. Danny-boy's gonna get some hot cocoa first."
Daniel's head dropped. "No, I'll help. Though, you guys might wanna help as well. It's a rather large tree."
The friends started for the door, slipping their coats and gloves back on, when Cam suddenly cried out.
"Waitaminute! Freeze, you two!"
Vala and Daniel stopped, turning towards the colonel in alarm. Cameron pointed up. Vala glanced to the ceiling, oblivious of the bright pink blush forming on Daniel's cheeks.
"Oh, c'mon, Jackson, it's Christmas law."
Vala looked back to the colonel, bewildered. "What is?"
"No, it's not."
"It is tradition, however," Teal'c pointed out.
"What is?" Vala asked, bouncing with anticipation. Sam giggled, nodding at the plant.
"That's mistletoe, Vala."
The ex-thief's eyes brightened as she gave the telltale plant another look. "It is?" she asked, looking gleefully at the man beside her.
"No," he persisted.
"One quick kiss won't kill you," Jack pointed out happily as Vala resorted to a very convincing dejected look with a bonus of puppy dog eyes. Daniel winced at her expression and rolled his eyes.
Vala glowed, planting a firm peck solidly on his lips before grabbing his hand and skipping out to his truck.
The tree had been decorated, dinner had been eaten. Presents had been opened, carols had been sung. Hands and hearts had been warmed. Sam and Jack had somehow found themselves sitting on the same chair, Sam nestling her head sleepily into Jack's shoulder. Teal'c and Cam were on the sofa, telling stories quietly. Vala was falling asleep with her head on Daniel's lap as his hand absentmindedly brushed through her hair. After a while, Vala sat up, startling Daniel as she stared into his eyes. Then she gave him a chaste kiss on the cheek and resumed her former position. Daniel stayed frozen for a moment before looking down at her in confusion.
"What was that for?" he asked softly.
"It was a thank you," Vala replied, her face hidden by her hair.
"Today. I had fun. I like the spirit of Christmas."
Daniel stayed silent for a while, contemplating the true holiday spirit. Finally, he replied:
"Yeah. I do too."
But she was already asleep.
A/N: I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!