'Til the Fat Lady Sings
By Holly-Batali

Disclaimer: As much as it pains me to say it, I don't own anything Stargate related. And as cool as it would be to own the copyright for shark cages and bungee jumping, I don't own that either.

"It's called snow."


"Yeah; snow."

"...sounds lame."

Sheppard rolled his eyes, trying--but failing horribly--not to let his exasperation show. After all, one doesn't want to annoy Ronon. The new on-base saying to replace 'don't count your chickens before they hatch' (which had been replaced by the SGC's 'don't count your Goa'uld before they try to kill you' and then Atlantis's 'don't taunt a Wraith with a steak unless you're sure he's dead) had been 'don't annoy a Satedan without an escape route, a long stick, and a really big gun'. This, of course, didn't last long, seeing as though by the time they finished saying it, the situation had moved on.

"It's cool," Sheppard persisted. "It's really...white. And cold. And...snowy."

Ronon raised his eyebrows skeptically. "'Snowy.'"

"Yes," said Sheppard, on the verge of giving up. "It's a Christmas thing, okay?"


Sheppard shot him an exasperated look. "Yes, Ronon. Christmas."

"What've you done now?"

The two soldiers turned slightly to see Rodney McKay walk into the Gate Room, fidgeting with his P-90 while trying not to drop his omni-present data tablet.

Sheppard put out his hands and gave the moody physicist an indignant look. "Nothing!" he insisted. "Why do you always assume that whenever I'm in the room, must have done something--"

"--Because you always do, Colonel Skateboard-in-the-Mess-Hall-and-Bungee-Jump-Off-the-South-Pier," McKay sniped.

Sheppard stopped protesting mid-word. Sharing a stunned look with Ronon, he said, "Bungee jumping. I knew we forgot something on our day off. Shoot."

"We could always do cliff-diving," said Ronon with a nonchalant shrug, having already gone through Sheppard's repertoire of sports magazines and action movies.

"Yeah," said Sheppard, rubbing his jaw in a contemplative manner. "If we could use the towers out by the east pier. Or, hey!" he snapped his fingers excitedly. "If we could convince Elizabeth to let us use a jumper, we could totally do sky-diving!"

"Go on, Sir," said a very-interested Major Lorne, who had just walked up in time to hear this latest proposal.

"Okay," said John quickly, the three of them now huddled in a circle. "I was thinking that we could just park it up over that desert on the mainland. For parachutes, we could--"

"Whoa, whoa, whoa," interrupted McKay hotly. "There is a very good reason that the Athosians stayed away from there; the place is freakin' radioactive. Did you forget the whale thing?"

"'The whale thing'?" mocked Sheppard, pouting a bit now that his plans had been foiled once more. Then he brightened. "Unless we jumped into the ocean, or the beach, or--hey! We could do a shark cage!"

"Am I missing something?" asked Teyla, coming up into the Gate Room. "Are we not supposed to be going off-world today?"

"Yes," said Sheppard. "P3X-885; snow planet."

"If there's nothing there, why're we going?" asked Ronon bluntly.

"Because Darwin here," said Sheppard, kicking McKay in the shin, "says that there are 'unusual energy readings' in the area."

Lorne chuckled. "Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that."

"Well, there are," sputtered McKay indignantly, his face blanching.

Sheppard stuck out his tongue, prompting an eye-roll from Teyla and raised eyebrows from Ronon; McKay sputtered again.

Shaking his head, Sheppard rolled his eyes and turned to the coffee-guzzling Chuck in Stargate Operations. "Dial it up, Chuck," he said, chuckling at both his pun and at the startled technician, who promptly spilled boiling coffee all over himself.

"...And your people decorate trees to commemorate this holiday?"

"Yeah," said Sheppard. "Well, in most countries, anyways. I'm not sure about everywhere else."

"And Canada," interjected McKay, raising his index finger from his data pad to emphasize the point.

"And Canada," John placated in a patronizing tone. Oblivious, McKay happily went back to his gadgets. Rolling his eyes, John continued, "So anyway, Santa Clause comes and goes down the chimney and puts presents under the Christmas tree--"

"Why does he not simply use the front door?" asked Teyla, confused.

"Because of rednecks with shotguns and dobermans," sniped McKay, sniffing loudly.

"Shush," reprimanded Sheppard. "I'm telling the story."

"Oh, how eighth-grade," snarked McKay, his normally bad mood worsened by the frigid weather and falling snowflakes.

"Can you do anything with this?" grunted Ronon, glancing in boredom at the dainty flakes; he didn't do dainty.

"Uh, yeah," snorted Sheppard. "There's skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snowmobiling--"

"Yes, yes," said McKay. "Moving forward; you're in the way." Shouldering past his teammates, he marched onward.

"Snowball fights," muttered Sheppard, waggling his eyebrows. Then he stopped, everyone passing him. "Stop," he called out. "We're taking a fifteen-minute break."

"Why?" squeaked McKay indignantly. "We'll be there--"

"Nope," said Sheppard cheerfully, packing away his sunglasses. "Take fifteen, kids."

Teyla and Ronon came over to stand by Sheppard while McKay looked out at the snowy horizon anxiously.

"Why are we stopping, Colonel?" asked Teyla.

"Oh, no reason," said Sheppard innocently with a conspiratorial wink to her and Ronon. He bent down, scooping up a bit of snow. "I just thought that we all needed to relax for a minute; you know, lighten up." Then, standing up, he silently showed them a snowball and grinned hugely.

Mouthing, 'watch this', he pulled back his arm like a Major League Baseball pitcher and hurled the snowball at the back of McKay's head.

McKay yelped, grabbing the back of his head and spinning around with a stunned, wide-eyed expression on his face. "Colonel!" he yelped. "What the hell?!"

Sheppard held his hands up, taking a step backwards. Then he pointed to Ronon. "It was all Ronon, I swear."

The effect, however, was somewhat ruined by the fact that Teyla was rolling her eyes again, and John and Ronon were trying not to laugh. Or rather, John was trying not to laugh; Ronon went ahead and laughed.

"Okay," said Rodney, bending down to make a hasty snowball. "Okay. You wanna go?" He threw the snowball at the colonel.

He missed, of course, and hit Teyla. "Oh crap," he breathed, all cockiness now gone. "I am so dead!"

In moments, there was a full-blown battle; Teyla and Ronon didn't take long to catch on, and were soon declared forces to be reckoned with.

"Well," said Sheppard as he and Ronon hid behind their snow barricade, hurling snowballs. "We might not need to go bungee-jumping after all." He shook his head. "The lengths we go to for recreation. Honestly."

Ronon just stared at him. Then two snowballs were hurled over their defenses, hitting the two soldiers squarely in the face and sending them backwards in the snow to the mocking sound of McKay and Teyla howling with laughter.

"Th-that was real mature, Colonel," McKay chattered, glaring at Sheppard, who ignored him.

Forgoing the search for energy readings due to frigid temperatures and the team wearing more snow than they walked through, they returned to Atlantis early, stunning everyone in the Gate Room, who were accustomed to the team returning on account of some battle, civil war, ambush, and/or general brouhaha.

Once in the infirmary,wrapped in blankets and holding mugs of hot chocolate (Carson forbade coffee in the infirmary, much to Rodney and John's dismay) the team relaxed, the Wrath of the Scot having finally passed.

"Th-that was f-fun," chattered Sheppard sunnily.

"Yes, it was," agreed Teyla, her voice muffled by the blanket she had pulled up over her face.

"Th-this isn't over," continued McKay as he came up for air from his second mug of cocoa. "N-Not until the fat lady s-sings," he mocked Sheppard, who threw him a nasty look, knowing--just knowing--that Teyla and Ronon would ask about his choice of words, and McKay would leave him to explain--

"W-who is this fat lady?" asked Teyla, confused.

"Why does she have to sing?" grumbled Ronon.

"Is this another one of your sayings?"

Sheppard groaned and raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Sing, fat lady; sing."

A/N: Well, what did you think? I wrote this up in Latin class a few days ago, and now that my Computer Banishment is finally over, I'm free to post. Hit the pretty purple button, please. (Review, in case you didn't get the reference).

Merry Christmas!