Author's Note: Just a few pairings I can see happening, particularly at a Christmas party! Sorry it's a little shorter than the others, but it was just the way it worked out.
Gestures of Love and Friendship
Gestures of Romance and Family
Rodney McKay felt more at home on Atlantis than he had anywhere else before. That was the only reason, and he stressed only reason to anyone who would listen, why he was currently wearing a silly Santa hat and drinking luke-warm punch. It was a sense of family that drew him out of his lab – along with the fact that Sheppard had bullied him out by hiding his laptop.
"Come on, McKay," cajoled a voice beside him. "Loosen up and enjoy the party."
Rodney sighed. It was the inevitable festive torture method that was the Annual Atlantis Christmas Party and if he'd had to make a list of people who would hassle and annoy him until he actually enjoyed himself, Lt. Laura Cadman could be second on that list – right under John Sheppard.
Scowling, Rodney turned towards the strawberry blonde Marine. "I am enjoying myself," he snapped. "Am I not wearing a Santa hat and drinking punch?"
Cadman, as always, seemed immune to the sarcasm dripping off every world. "No," she replied, waving a glass of what looked suspiciously like Zelenka's hooch. "You look like you're skulking in a dark corner. Have you even danced once yet?"
Rodney's eyes drifted to the dance floor where even now Major Lorne was proving that painting was not all he did well as he whirled a pregnant Teyla around the floor, laughing at something Sam had said as she danced by with Sheppard. Even Ronon was attempted to dance with a very patient Jennifer Keller. "Well, I haven't been here long," he blustered.
Cadman just laughed. Throwing back the last of her drink, she grabbed Rodney's hand. "Come on, McKay."
"Where… what are you doing?!" he snapped as she tugged him onto the makeshift dance floor.
"Making sure you dance," Cadman replied with a grin.
Rodney protested loudly at that, but couldn't help but notice how beautiful Cadman looking tonight in a white-trimmed green dress that showed off her long runner's legs. She'd been wearing a matching Santa hat earlier, but Rodney had no idea where it had gone – at least until one of her team mates had walked by wearing it.
"So," Cadman said, breaking into his thoughts as she put his arms around her and began to dance. "How long do you think it will be until the Major makes a move?"
"What?" Rodney blinked.
Cadman rolled her eyes. "Rodney, you at least have to move your feet if you're going to dance," she said. "And I mean the Major and Teyla."
Rodney, who'd just begun to dance while counting in his head, stopped in his tracks. "Lorne and Teyla?" he said.
"Please tell me you have eyes, McKay?" Cadman replied, a little incredulous. "You have seen the way Major Lorne looks at Teyla, right?"
Rodney scowled again. "I don't really have time to notice who's staring at who because I'm too busy trying to save the Universe," he stated imperiously.
Cadman rolled her eyes again, before laughing. Then she stepped forward, until her face was less than an inch from Rodney's – which of course made Rodney stumble backwards. He thought she looked a little tipsy. "What are you doing?" he asked, his eyes wide and a little panicked.
Looking slightly annoyed, Cadman stared at him. "I'm trying to kiss you, Rodney," she answered.
"Kiss me?" Rodney echoed, completely stunned.
Wordlessly, Cadman pointed upwards and Rodney realised she'd manoeuvred him over to the edge of the dance floor and right under a sprig of mistletoe. "Cadman…" he tried warningly as she leaned in again.
She glared back. "Laura," she replied. "My name is Laura."
He didn't get a chance to finish what he intended to say as Laura's lips met his. She tasted of strawberry lip gloss and Zelenka's hooch and suddenly Rodney decided he really didn't want to talk at all. He was vaguely aware of someone calling out, "Way to go McKay!", but all he cared about was the woman in his arms.
# # #
Ronon grinned as Sheppard laughed delightedly beside him. They'd just spotted McKay and Lt. Cadman kissing in the corner. Personally, Ronon thought is was about time. McKay was coming more and more out of his shell everyday, but he was still way too tense. Hopefully, Cadman would get him to loosen up a little.
"You know, I can annoy him about this for weeks," Sheppard said with a grin.
"He's still going to call you Captain Kirk," Sam replied, but she was also smiling in amusement.
Ronon shook his head at the reference he still didn't fully understand. "I'm just hoping it makes him a little less…"
"…annoying?" Sheppard finished.
Ronon shrugged. "Yeah."
With a final glance at McKay and Cadman, who were now making out like teenagers, Ronon turned and started towards the buffet table to get more food, just as Zelenka wandered over, mouth agape. "Is that Rodney kissing Lt. Cadman?" he asked incredulously, pushing up his glasses as if he didn't believe what his eyes were telling him.
Ronon shook his head at the odd scientist's behaviour, before smiling when he saw Teyla approaching. "Ronon," she greeted with a smile when she was close enough to be heard over the music.
"Did you see what McKay is up to?" he asked her.
She nodded. "I did." Then she paused. "Ronon, may I have a word with you?"
"Sure," Ronon replied.
"Do you still have the mistletoe you obtained from Chuck?"
At her question, Ronon arched an eyebrow and gave her a knowing look. "You finally going to kiss Major Lorne, huh?"
"Yes," Teyla said simply, having never been one to hide her intentions in matters like this. "I am hoping the mistletoe will help persuade him to kiss me back."
Ronon snorted at that. "Trust me, you don't need the mistletoe to get him to kiss you back," he said. "The man's not stupid."
When Teyla glared at him with that frown on her face, Ronon just shrugged and gave up. He knew better than to argue with her when she was in this mood. Pulling the mistletoe from his pocket, he showed it to her, before following her over to where Major Lorne stood taking to a few Marines.
"Major Lorne," Teyla greeted.
"Teyla," Lorne replied, a smile lighting up his face when he saw her.
How Teyla couldn't see how Lorne always smiled more when she was around, Ronon would never know. To him it was obvious. "I was wondering if…" Teyla began at the same moment Lorne said, "Did you see…"
As they lapsed into slightly awkward silence, Ronon snorted and decided it was time to take matters into his own hands. Holding out the mistletoe, he placed it over their heads. "Oh, look. Mistletoe," he deadpanned.
Teyla gave him a glare that promised retribution later, while Lorne's eyes went a little wide and he blushed faintly. "Fine," Ronon grunted, tucking the mistletoe back into his pocket.
With a final frown at Ronon, Teyla turned back to Lorne, before grabbing him by the front of his blue shirt and proceeding to kiss him senseless. Ronon grinned as the Marines hooted.
"Ronon, what are you up to?" Jennifer asked as she came up beside him.
"Nothing," he replied, reaching over to tuck her into his side.
"Oh, man!" Sheppard called out from nearby. "What did Zelenka put in his hooch?"
"It was the mistletoe," Ronon told him.
Beside Sheppard, Sam grinned. "I'm actually surprised you aren't King of the Mistletoe this year, John," she said.
"Hey, those rumours are highly exaggerated," Sheppard protested.
Ronon felt a sense of peace settle over him as he stood there, Jennifer cuddled into his side. Tomorrow the Wraith could attack or Michael and his hybrids could reappear, but tonight that seemed far away as Atlantis celebrated. The people that lived here were strange and unpredictable, but they had one important thing binding them all together: they were a family. And together, they could do anything.