White Christmas

All John could think about as he sat with the rest of his team around the make-shift Christmas tree Rodney had rustled up was home. His Earth home, not his Atlantis one. He had spent many a Christmas holiday back on Earth trudging through snow, sledding with his friends and throwing snowballs at the house halfway down the street where a creepy old guy lived. This...this wasn't a thing like it.

Usually he didn't mind the differences between Earth and Atlantis, but something Elizabeth had said had struck the part of him that had always loved the holidays and...well, he couldn't help it. He missed home and everything that came with the holidays back on Earth.

He sighed and turned back to the festivities. Rodney was explaining in very specific detail how he used to spend his Christmas', while Ronon and Teyla blantantly ignored him and chatted quietly between themselves. Elizabeth sat off at another table with Carson, a cup of coffee held in her hands and a slight frown on her face. Carson stood up and excited the room as he looked on.

Elizabeth definitely wasn't happy about something.

Maybe he wasn't alone in missing a white Christmas at home.

He pulled himself to his feet, excusing himself when Teyla shot him a questioning glance and Rodney glared at him.

"I'll be back," he assured them.

He headed to the free chair across from where Elizabeth was sitting and pulled it out, turning it so that the back was resting against the table and then placing one leg on either side and sitting down. "Elizabeth," he said quietly. "You okay?"

She pushed a strand of hair behind her ear and offered him a small smile. Forced. "To be honest, John, I miss Earth a little. Christmas. I've spent it with family - or Simon - every year until this one. It's not that I'm homesick or anything," she said hurriedly. "I just can't help but wonder what I'd be doing if I were there." She faded out and her eyes glossed over as if she was deep in thought.

"I miss it, too," John almost whispered. "It's different here."

Elizabeth glanced at him as if his confession had brought her back to life. One eyebrow cocked up and a laugh escaped her lips. "You can say that again!" she agreed. "It's very different here."

John smiled. "Yeah."

They lapsed into a comfortable silence.

It was minutes later when Rodney fell out of his chair, having leaned forward too far, that they finally spoke again.

"This is nice," John murmured, half watching Rodney splutter and pick himself up off the ground and Ronon sniggered at him and half watching Elizabeth out of the corner of his eye. "Almost makes up for not having a Christmas back on Earth."

"You think so?" Sceptical.

"I do," John confirmed. He turned his attention fully on Elizabeth once more and reached over to take her hand. "In fact, I think if we tried hard enough we can make this one of the best Christmas' of our lives."

Elizabeth narrowed her eyes. "John? What are you thinking?"

He grinned and nodded towards the door. "Want to get out of here?" he asked. He ran his tongue over his lips and let his gaze turn suggestively to hers.

She shivered under his stare and before she could stop herself, she had answered and climbed to her feet. "Sure."

Hand in hand, they left silently. Their disappearances remained unnoticed by the others until they returned together an hour or two later, hair a little messier than it had been and clothes not sitting quite right.

Their Christmas' had turned out better than they could have wished for.