Disclaimer: I don't own "Stargate: Atlantis." I am in no way trying to make a profit off this story, I am merely writing it and posting for my and other people's enjoyment.
Synopsis: Ronon and Teyla surprise each other at Christmastime. Fluff and mistletoe is involved. RononTeyla
Warnings: Fluff and kissin' under the mistletoe. -grin-
Pairings: Ronon/Teyla, slight mention of John/Elizabeth
Spoilers: Very slight one for a deleted scene in Reunion
Timeline: No particular season – but in this fic the season 3 episode Sunday and First Strike and the vast majority of season 4 doesn't (and won't) happen – so a little AU, I guess.
Title: These Christmas Gifts
Author's notes: Last year I couldn't get a good idea for a Christmas fic until the Fourth of July after Christmas – so I've been holding on to this gem for a while, lol. The idea for Ronon's present to Teyla came from a deleted scene from Reunion, posted on Joe Mallozzi's blog. I hope you enjoy – thanks for reading! Merry Christmas!
These Christmas Gifts
Ronon Dex had grown quite accustomed to the long, extravagant list of Earth holidays that the Atlantians celebrated. The accompanying parties were sometimes over the top, but by the end of the evening he was usually enjoying himself.
Of these numerous occasions, he liked Christmas best.
So far he'd done a good job of avoiding the mistletoe hanging over almost every doorway in the city; barely ducked away from three tinsel fights; and found that eggnog wasn't worth the praises Sheppard gave it. Therefore Ronon was content to lounge against the back wall of the winter-wonderland transformed mess hall and watch the goings-on around him, his ear close to a speaker to hear the music that had been constantly played on citywide for well over forty-eight hours now. (Undoubtedly, that had not been McKay's idea – so, by default, Sheppard had to have something to do with it.)
Ronon didn't have to crane his neck far to find his teammates, since he was at least a head taller than almost everyone present. John Sheppard was standing across the room with his head tilted slightly to hear what Elizabeth Weir was whispering in his ear. A grin briefly crossed his face, and he nodded and slipped off. Rodney McKay was standing next to the drinks table, gesturing wildly at Radek Zelenka. Judging by the expressions on the scientists' faces, the ever-present words "Christmas cheer" had been deleted from their vocabularies.
Ronon allowed himself a quick grin at the sight before continuing to scan the crowd. He spotted a few more familiar faces before finally finding the one he was looking for.
Teyla Emmagan was working her way through the crowd toward him. She nodded occasional greetings to her acquaintances as she passed and paused to say something serious to McKay and Zelenka. Then she slipped through the last few clusters of people and paused next to him.
"Hey," Ronon greeted with a casual nod.
"Merry Christmas," she returned. She propped her shoulder against the wall and followed his gaze, looking out over the laughing, singing crowd. "I sometimes forget just how many people actually live in this city. Seeing the vast majority of them crammed in this room is – strange."
"Nothing like a party to draw people together." Ronon lost interest in people watching and focused his entire attention on his petite companion. "What're McKay and Zelenka arguing about this time?"
Teyla smiled and tipped her head to the side. "Rodney was informing Dr. Zelenka that his tests on the ZPM power outputs were insufficient and total gibberish. Dr. Zelenka replied that he can't get anything done this time of year. Rodney will just have to wait until after Christmas for his reports."
Ronon grinned. "Oh, I bet McKay loved that."
"I did not linger to hear his response." She tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "Have you managed to avoid the mistletoe?" A flick of her hand indicated the greenery above the cafeteria's door.
"Let's just say I've been dividing my time between my quarters and the gym. No where's safe in this city when Sheppard gets his hands on holiday decorations." Ronon sheepishly smiled. "And, I wait until no one's around to enter a room."
Teyla laughed. "Consider yourself fortunate."
Ronon leaned forward interestedly, one eyebrow quirking upwards. "Oh-h-h – who caught you?"
Teyla calmly folded her hands and smiled. "I managed to escape with my dignity intact. Dr. McKay was far too embarrassed to do more than peck my cheek and run off. I do not believe I have ever had the pleasure of seeing his face so red. And Dr. Beckett, gentleman that he is, gave me a hug and kissed my cheek before catching Laura Cadman's arm and kissing her properly."
Ronon laughed. "I do wish I could have seen the look on McKay's face."
"It was an accident that we happened to be entering the control room at the same time – a few Marines, John, Elizabeth, and Katie Brown all got a good laugh out of it." Teyla adjusted the small red flower tucked behind her ear and shrugged gracefully.
Ronon reached into his pocket and pulled out a folded piece of paper. "Here – you might need this. At least until after tomorrow."
Teyla gave him a questioning look and took the paper. "What is it?"
"I made a list of all the rooms that have mistletoe hanging at their entrances. It's amazing – Sheppard thought of everything."
Teyla scanned the list, her smile widening. "At least he hasn't attempted to hang the greenery around the crew quarters."
"I think Weir had something to do with that. I did hear that he wanted to decorate the Daedalus, too, but Caldwell and Hermiod both had a few protests." Ronon wished he'd have been witness to the usually deadpan Asgard in a state of "extreme agitation." That would have been something to see.
The Athosian nodded, then covered a yawn with her hand. "Excuse me. I did not realize how late it is getting."
Ronon gently caught her wrist and craned his neck to see the time. "Wow. It's 2700 hours. Almost Christmas."
"One more hour." Teyla pushed off the wall and stood on her tiptoes to peer towards the doorway. "Looks like the doorway is fairly empty. I think I will head toward my quarters."
Ronon felt a twinge of disappointment shoot through him. Following directly on its heels was an idea. "I'm getting tired of the noise, so I'll walk you there. They're close to mine."
Teyla smiled widely and genuinely up at him. "Thank you, Ronon." She led the way toward the door, and Ronon hung back for a ten-count before following her out. It didn't take long with his long-legged stride to catch up to her.
"D'you ever get used to all these holidays?" Even after all this time on Atlantis, he was still trying to grow accustomed to which party was for which occasion.
Teyla casually reached out and tucked her hand in the crook of his elbow, spreading warmth up to his shoulder and down to his wrist. "I look for the obvious signs – green for St. Patrick's day, red and pink for Valentine's day, and red and green for Christmas. Everything is color-coded, apparently."
Everything had an order here. It was just part of the Atlantians' way of life. Sometimes, though, Ronon wished for some spontaneity. "I'll get used to it eventually, I guess." He reached out to hold his hand against the doorframe of the transporter while motioning her to precede him. On some random instinct, his gaze flitted upward.
He froze. "Um – Teyla—" With his free hand, he pointed upward.
She tipped her head up and spotted the innocuous-looking sprig of greenery, one that he'd obviously missed while making his list. She met his eyes and smiled. "I will say nothing if you do not."
Ronon hesitated. She was offering him an out – but did he really want to take it?
Before he could lose his sudden rush of courage, he glanced over his shoulder and then leaned down to brush his lips quickly across hers. As he straightened back to his full height, he tried to tell himself that he was just getting caught up in the general air of the holiday.
But the smile that burst from deep within him wouldn't allow him to believe it.
Teyla stood staring at him with sparkling eyes, her lips parted in a wide grin. She said nothing, however; instead, she deliberately turned her back and walked into the transporter.
Ronon found her gesture oddly maddening. Firmly pressing his lips together to hide his own grin, he stepped in behind her and reached out to input the senior crew quarters destination on the LCD readout.
Teyla stepped out of the transporter before him and walked on. Ronon paused to roll his eyes upward for a peek at the doorway.
No mistletoe. He was starting to think the universe was conspiring against him – mistletoe was everywhere he didn't want to be. But, in the one place he did want to see it. . . Nothing.
He pushed his hands into his pockets to keep them occupied as they walked down the brightly-lit corridor toward the doorway to her room. "So – I guess I'll see you tomorrow? Gym, 0800?" He wondered, in light of the holiday, if she'd want to skip their daily sparring session.
Teyla turned her head to smile up at him, and it looked genuine. "I will be there. John said something about us all having breakfast together as a team, but I believe it would not hurt for us to be a little late. . ." Her voice trailed off, and she gazed forward again.
Ronon was still trying to work his way through that sentence when Teyla abruptly stopped. He took two more steps, realized she wasn't next to him, and hurriedly backed up. "So – see you in the morning?"
She gazed up at him from beneath her lashes, a shy smile on her face. "Merry Christmas, Ronon."
She was doing it again – dazzling him. Without bothering to see if anyone was around, he took her face in his hands and leaned forward to kiss the crown of her golden-haloed head. "Merry Christmas, Teyla."
The tiny Athosian caught his face before he could stand erect again and kissed his cheek. Then she turned and disappeared into her quarters.
Ronon didn't even bother to try to hide his grin this time. He was tempted to hang around outside for another minute, wondering if she'd noticed the present he'd left sitting on her bed yet. He'd briefly left the party earlier to retrieve the gift from his quarters and place it in hers. He was aching to know her reaction, but he figured he'd better wait until morning.
The doors to his room hissed closed behind him, and Ronon absently reached to his left to turn up the lights. Then he hesitated, his eyes adjusting to the darkness that wasn't quite as complete as he'd thought it was.
A small Athosian candle sat on his bedside table, one he knew for certain he'd seen in Teyla's quarters just a few hours ago. It was lit, the soft red-gold light spilling just right across his bed.
Lying side-by-side on the mattress were two polished Bantos rods, tied together with red ribbon and topped with a big red bow.
Shaking off his surprise, Ronon stepped forward and picked up the piece of paper sitting next to the rods. He unfolded it and smiled as he read the words written in Teyla's beautiful calligraphy.
I noticed your old pair of Bantos rods are looking a little worn. I thought perhaps these would be the "right" gift for you.
Merry Christmas from one warrior to another.
Gently Ronon tugged off the ribbon and bow and held up the Bantos rods so the light caught and reflected. The warm red wood glowed in the soft light, and as he got closer to the grip he noticed the carved words circling the rods.
He leaned closer and squinted to read them, then caught his breath when he saw they were Satedan.
Property of Ronon Dex: Warrior, friend, and hero.
He nearly dropped the rods when he read that. "Teyla, how did you ever—?"
Suddenly, he couldn't wait until morning to see her. Bantos rods still gripped tightly in his hand, he left his quarters to go to her.
Teyla had felt a certain high when she realized that Ronon had no clue that she'd been in his quarters just under two hours earlier to leave his gift and a candle. She wondered if he'd found the rods yet, and if he liked them.
She swallowed back the anxiety in her throat along with the urge to go see if he did. She told herself to be patient, that she'd find out in the morning if he did.
Sighing, she reached down to pull off her low-heeled shoes. She dropped them in the bottom of the closet as she reached for her pajamas, then headed across the room to drop them on the bed.
It was only then that she noticed the moonlight slanting through her window was glinting off something resting against the pillow at the head of her bed.
Curious, she dropped her pajamas and reached for the folded piece of paper resting against what she realized was a picture frame. She unfolded the note and read it, a smile trembling across her lips as she recognized Ronon's bold handwriting.
I know you miss your people a lot since you're on Atlantis and they're on the mainland. Since you don't get to go visit a lot, I hope this helps bring them to you.
She lay the note down in favor of picking up the picture frame, then gasped when she realized what it held.
A detailed sketch of the settlement stared solemnly up at her. She recognized the vantage point as that from the hills above the colony, and felt like she was standing among the trees gazing down at the tents, at her people.
She was suddenly there. No longer was she standing in her quarters in Atlantis, she was with her people again.
Teyla ran shaky fingers across the glass, tracing the tents and the curling lines of smoke snaking up from the fires that were kept constantly burning in the center of the small town. She paused when she saw the signature in the bottom right-hand corner.
"Ronon—?" His name choked out of her. I never knew he could draw – and how well he does. . .
Dimly, at the back of her mind, she realized she'd been hearing her door chime sounding. But it was the sound of Ronon saying her name that snapped her out of her stupor, and she spun to face him.
He stood framed in her doorway, backlit by the bright hall lights. The Bantos rods she'd spent months working on were gripped in his hand. He stared at her, locking her eyes with the intensity of his gaze before she was released by his turning his eyes down to look at the frame she still held clutched in her hand.
"You like it?" The words were spoken softly, hoarsely – he sounded uncertain, almost scared.
"Like it?" Incredulity burst from her. "How can I like it?"
For a moment, pure anguish flickered in his eyes. He started to turn.
Immediately, she realized her mistake. She leaped across the room in three strides and clung to his arm. "I do not like it, Ronon, I love it! It is the Athosian settlement perfectly captured on paper – when I first saw it, I felt like I was there!" She ran out of breath and stopped, allowing her expression to plead for her.
His head snapped around to face her, eyes burning into hers as if he was trying to read her soul, to make sure she was being honest. Wordlessly, she let him.
Ronon's arm relaxed in her desperate grip, allowing her to tug him far enough into her quarters so the door could close behind him. "I was afraid you wouldn't," he said, once more staring down at the picture. "I haven't drawn in a long time, since I still lived on Sateda. I was – kind of afraid I'd lost my touch. I almost didn't give it to you." He twisted his arm and reached up to grasp her elbow, squeezing gently but firmly.
Teyla stood on her tiptoes to wrap her arms around Ronon's neck and hug tightly. It was a little forward, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. "You should sketch more often," she said softly into his ear.
Awkwardly, Ronon's arms wrapped around her waist to hug her back. "Did you carve these?" He bumped the tip of one of his rods against her back.
Teyla pulled away and reached out to touch the silky shaft of one of the rods. "I have been working on them for months. I had to search for a long time through the Ancient database to find the correct Satedan characters for each letter for the engraving." She touched the words. "Is it right?" Suddenly, she felt frightened that Ronon wouldn't like her work.
Ronon's large, calloused hand caught her chin and lifted her head. "The words are right, but I am no hero. . ." His gaze flickered away from hers.
Teyla leaned her head forward to rest against his chest. "You do not give yourself enough credit, Ronon Dex. Warrior, friend, artist – and, yes, hero. Because you are my hero."
Again, his arms hesitantly curled around her. "I don't deserve anyone as good as you in my life, Teyla." A sigh left him as he tilted his head down to rest it against hers. "But I am still selfishly glad you are here."
She smiled a little. "Thank you, Ronon."
"No, Teyla. Thank you. For – everything."
Her watch chirped, and she felt Ronon smile into her hair. "Merry Christmas, Teyla." He cupped her chin again and lifted her head so he could lower his lips to hers.
Right before she lost herself in his kiss, Teyla smiled broadly and whispered back: "Merry Christmas, my love."
Okay, that was sappier and fluffier than I'd originally pictured it. It was mentioned in a deleted scene from "Reunion" that on Sateda, Ronon sketched, wrote poetry, and sang. Who knew? And I've always pictured Teyla to be artistic herself, good with her hands, so I easily pictured her able to carve Bantos rods. And, since she's such a caring person, I also envisioned her putting in all the extra work to find the Satedan words for Ronon's rods. I hope everything turned out well, and that you liked this fic! Thanks for reading! And, finally, I hope you all have a safe and merry Christmas!