A Holiday for Every Occasion
Five Holidays with the Highlander Scoobies, spreading good fun and cheer. Written for the hlhshortcuts Holiday Ficathon 2007.
The Captain and the Doctor - New Years Eve, London, 1900
Crossover with: Torchwood
"You're a new face around here."
Jack looked up from his chair, a hand to his head as the buzzing ache behind his eyes faded into a low-key hum. "Pardon?"
The stranger who had spoken to him, dressed in the fashion of the noblemen of that time, was eying him warily, sharp hazel eyes studying him over. He was tall, broad-shouldered but skinny – Jack recognised a man who could slip into any crowd unseen, given the right costume. "I haven't seen you before. I make it a point to know everyone of our kind in the city, even if they don't know me. Who are you?"
"Hey man, I don't want any trouble," Jack sighed, rubbing his temples. "I'm just looking for a quiet New Years drink."
The stranger narrowed his eyes and straightened slightly, a look of resignation and mild sympathy darkening his eye colour into a cooler green. "You don't know what you are, do you?"
"Sorry?" Jack was thoroughly confused. The stranger sighed and took the seat next to Jack, waving the barkeep for a couple of pints.
"Let me sum this up simply. You died recently, a day or a few years, an accident or murder or something of the sort; a while later, you inexplicably woke up alive, and unharmed, and you got one killer headache when I approached you. Am I close? Shall I continue?" The stranger sipped his beer, bright eyes watching Jack intently.
Jack could feel his brain cells grind to a slow halt.
"How did you..."
"Doctor Benjamin Adams, at your service," Adams answered, offering a hand. "And you and I, kid, have a lot to talk about."
The Scot, the Thief and the Englishman– Halloween, Monte Carlo, 1966
Crossover With: Fifth Doctor Audio "The Veiled Leopard"
Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod liberated another glass of champagne from a passing waiter and downed the contents. He needed it, rather desperately. Another hour of listening to Amanda praise Janus, internationally known jewel thief, while he stood there in a poor rendition of a roman centurion's armour, and he might be tempted to pull his sword and take her head right in the middle of the Monte Carlo. Or maybe just jab her a little with the point. At least he could wear it openly – he kept a small pearl of smugness in knowing the older Immortal was probably having a devil of a time keeping her own sword hidden under that medieval noblewoman's outfit.
"She's absolutely fabulous; really, her technique is to be admired. I heard she'll come after the Leopard tonight."
"She? What makes you think it's a SHE?" That was Fitzcairn, who was reason number 2 Duncan was currently parading around the ballroom of the Casino Majestique feeling like an idiot. "A thief of such skill and cunning couldn't possibly be anyone but a man."
The look Amanda shot the Englishman, who was dressed in a horrendous mockery of a Scottish tartan, could've frozen lava. "Excuse me? Wanna run that by me again?"
Duncan relished the sight of Fitz stumbling over a rapid-fire stammering apology to the dark-haired thief and cast a studious gaze around the room. To be honest, the only reason he had come to this party had been under Fitz's duress. And, with Janus lurking the streets of Monte Carlo, he had half suspected Amanda to be up to her old tricks. Stealing the Stone of Scone back in the 1950's had riled her blood too much for his liking, and he was, for lack of a better term, playing Watchdog.
Something curious caught his eye, and he turned his full attention on a rather flamboyantly dressed young woman and her escort for the evening, who apparently hadn't understood the meaning of Fancy Dress on the invitations, as he was in a plain black tuxedo. They seemed to be eying the guests with a fair amount of suspicion. The woman muttered something in the man's ear, and walked off. The man, glancing around rather obviously, wandered in another direction, casting furtive looks that Duncan supposed were attempted discreetly.
Duncan followed, casually, but didn't get far before he bumped into a young lady in Egyptian dress.
"Oops! Sorry about that," she giggled in a heavily American accent, steadying the Asp headband on her hair. "Entirely my fault. Oh, now where did she- Erimem!" the young woman trotted off after another dressed like one of Henry the 8th's bits of fluff.
Bemused, Duncan scanned the crowd for the mysterious young man, but in the confusion he had slipped away. A scowl shadowing his otherwise calm features, he grabbed another glass of champagne and returned to Amanda and Fitzcairn, who were still arguing the finer points of gender and unlawful activities. Without a mediator Duncan was sure they would start loudly comparing adventures in the middle of the casino and get arrested for their rivalry.
Incan Matrimonial Head Masks – Christmas, New York, 1997
Crossover with: Ocean's 11, pre-movie
Daniel Ocean could feel Rusty's frown on his back as the two of them studied the plans for the night's heist. The younger man was soft-spoken, but Danny had always somehow been able to tell what he was thinking about. Right now, Russ was upset. That much Danny was sure about. He sighed and turned around to face his friend, folding his arms over his chest. Russ matched his gaze, toying with a mangled toothpick that seemed to be serving the man's oral fixation for the night.
"What?" Danny sighed, leaning against the table. Rusty was silent a moment longer, studying the plans.
"We'll need someone else," he finally said. "I misjudged this. We're missing a component."
"Where? How?" Danny frowned down at the plans, than hesitated. "You already know someone." Otherwise he never would've mentioned it.
Again, Russ was silent. Danny took it as a good sign. "Who did you have in mind, Russ?"
Russ smiled, and turned away, pulling his phone from his pocket and punching in a number.
"Amanda, darling," he said with an enthusiasm Danny had never heard him use before, when the line was picked up. "I've a Christmas present for you."
Danny could hear Amanda's squeal of "Cory!" through the small speaker of the cell phone. From the way Rusty's eyes lit up, Amanda was obviously pleased with his promise of gifts. "Three words, doll: Incan Matrimonial Head Masks. How soon can you get to New York?"
A few more minutes, and Rusty hung up the phone, and stuck the toothpick back into his mouth with a satisfied smile. "Problem solved."
Since I Found Serenity – Persephone, Unification Day, 2512
Crossover with: Firefly, pre-series
"Wonder if it'll get any easier," Malcom Reynolds asked the countertop, staring into the murky surface of the ale in the dirty mug between his hands. "Wonder if the Alliance will ever stop flaunting it."
"Aye, they will in time," the older man beside him replied, in a smooth burr of some dialect that had been lost to the centuries. "Perhaps no in your lifetime or mine but they'll forget. They always forget. Wars rise and fall, people keep killing and it's always the same. Different battlefields, different weapons, but in the end no one wins."
"For a medic you're pretty well spoken, MacLeod," Mal remarked. Duncan MacLeod angled his head in acknowledgement and drank from his mug, gazing darkly at the rest of the tavern. The rest of Persephone, Alliance to the end, was celebrating their victory over the Browncoats with great relish. How MacLeod and Reynolds had found themselves in this particular bar on this particular day was a mystery even to them.
"When's Zoe to be back?" Mac asked offhandedly, and Mal glanced up.
"Couple'a hours, I think." He looked back at his drink glumly. "Says it's about time we found ourselves a ship. I ain't hanging around this go tsao de rock any longer then I hafta."
"Where will you go?"
"Border planets, I think. Out past where the Alliance can't touch me." Mal drained his glass. "Hey, barkeep, ching zie lie ee bay Ng-Ka-Pei?"
"We don't serve no tsway-niou browncoats in this bar," the keeper spat.
"War's long over and I still pay valid coin, you liou coe shway duh biao-tze huh hoe-tze duh ur-tze," Malcom grated out, rising to his feet halfway before MacLeod lay a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
"Easy Mal, dinnae forget where you are," Mac warned, glancing around at the tavern. The white noise of background music and soft conversation had stilled and all eyes were on the pair of rebels.
"That's alright MacLeod," Mal replied, shrugging off the hand and smiling with a grim sort of determination as he shrugged off his coat. "I think this'll be fun; might even make it a tradition."
MacLeod sighed and grabbed the discarded garment, ducking a drunken punch as the bar erupted into chaos.
Traditions of Old – Christmas, Atlantis, the Pegasus Galaxy, 2004
Crossover with: Stargate Atlantis
Rodney McKay was loud, abrasive, and paranoid to the point of obsession on the best of days. He was also a genius, and so people forgave him his quirks and dismissed his oddities as signs of a brilliant, cluttered mind. Few people asked questions of his personal life, and even fewer were allowed close enough to even consider attempting friendship.
Which is why no one asked Rodney why, for his one personal object from Earth, he chose to bring to Atlantis a dragon-headed Katana.
Carson Beckett knew better.
He knew who Rodney McKay really was, in the slipups the man sometimes let slide.
Rodney McKay wasn't, when in anger his voice slipped into a soft whispered tone tinged with an obscured French accent and a low Scottish burr.
Rodney McKay wasn't, when even for all his whining and phobias, he rarely got sick. Infirmary visits were always the shortest out of all the men in the expedition, and Carson doctored reports to lie to protect the man's secrets.
Rodney McKay wasn't, when on the first Christmas in Atlantis, he raised his glass and toasted the night in perfect Gaelic, causing Carson to snort Radek's home-brewed moonshine down the wrong pipe. Rodney watched with a mild amusement as he thumped the Doctor on the back, and everyone else laughed.
Wiping tears out of his eyes, Carson could only thank him hoarsely and take the offered glass of water.
Connor MacLeod only smiled knowingly as his Watcher drowned the burn of the alcohol, and sipped his own drink, looking to the stars and the worlds beyond and feeling, finally, at peace.