Title: Christmas Spirit (sequel to Sometimes We Fall and Attack Like the Sea although can be read as a stand-alone)
Prompt: 283- Masterpiece - tamingthemuse
Warnings: So much fluff it'll make your teeth ache
Disclaimer: Not mine, despite the occasional daydream.
Summary: It wasn't that Rodney was a Grinch. He was simply too smart for Christmas.
Rodney was sick to death of the Christmas spirit. Christmas was a gimmick, a commercial ploy to boost the economy by inflicting guilt and stress on hapless individuals. Rodney was an atheist, had been so since he could argue with adults while still clothed in diapers, but even he knew that Jesus wasn’t even born in December. Bah! Rodney was much too smart for Christmas. His first year on Atlantis he had been so glad that he was surrounded by people who were relatively smart; some of the brightest minds on Earth. Of course, they couldn’t compare to him, no one could. But he had really thought that they would be smart enough to not be influenced by the hype that surrounded the holiday. Until December rolled along and suddenly, every person in the city became possessed with the Christmas ‘spirit’. Rodney preferred to think that everyone had simply lost their collective minds or been possessed. He had started testing people in the city, scanning and testing until John had caught him and put a stop to his experiments.
From the first day of December, people started smiling at each other, at him. The city’s halls sprouted decorations, various masterpieces made of tinsel burgeoning from the wall like some form of twinkling fungi. It mocked him with its cheeriness and made Rodney scowl all the harder. People found any excuse to lock lips, kissing under mistletoe that seemed ubiquitous. The mess suddenly started serving not-turkey and mince pies that Rodney steered clear of. They were undoubtedly stuffed full of citrus. John had rolled his eyes but wisely refrained from commenting. And Ronon had shoved three in his mouth at once, chewed intensely before making a face and swallowing with a grimace. Ronon’s aversion to mince pies was one of the many reasons Ronon was becoming Rodney’s favourite person in Atlantis.
After her first year on Atlantis, where every new tradition was a pleasant surprise, Teyla had gradually gotten used to the idea of Christmas. She enjoyed the food, which the mess produced in their attempts to mimic Earth Christmas traditions. She was delighted by the festive mood that had settled over the city, the Christmas tree that twinkled merrily in a well-lit corner of the mess hall. But this was Ronon’s first Christmas and the Satedan was struggling to get used to the new mood and revelry that had spread through the city. Unsurprisingly, Ronon had a difficult time dealing with such widespread change. He had settled into Atlantis, finally feeling at home. However, any big changes made him irritable and unhappy, as though he expected his tranquillity to disappear in the blink of an eye.
Rodney and Ronon had been dating steadily for the last few months, a fact that Rodney couldn’t help but be incredulous about. How he managed to score the most wonderful and attractive man in Atlantis was something that he asked himself every night he went to sleep and every morning when he woke up to Ronon’s arm heavy around his waist. But handling his lover’s first Christmas wasn’t something he was equipped for. He was a scientist damn it. Not a… sociologist! As Christmas drew ever nearer Rodney grew more and more nervous. He simply didn’t want to be a Grinch and ruin Ronon’s first ever Christmas. He even approached Sheppard, eager for some advice that would help him make Ronon’s holiday an enjoyable one while still not involve Rodney in any stupid traditions. John raised an eyebrow and burst into that ridiculous honking laugh of his, which resulted in Rodney storming out of the room in fury.
But the point of the matter was, that Rodney had always hated Christmas. As a child his parents had either lavished Jeannie and him with presents, competing with each other to win their children’s affection, or alternatively neglected to give them a single gift. Christmas day meals were angry and strum with enough tension to make Rodney’s skin itch. No matter what year it was or how old they were, the holidays were always a time for fighting and regrets. Jeannie had cried every Christmas day for twelve years before she finally became apathetic to their parents shouted taunts. Rodney still remembered her thin body shaking in his arms as her tears wet his sweater. It soured every Christmas memory he had ever built for himself over all those years away from his family.
When Christmas finally struck that year it turned out that Rodney needn’t have worried. He should have known that his friends would sort it out. Everything was completely different to what Rodney had experienced before. He had woken up to Ronon sitting up in their bed, sleepy smile on his face as he looked down at Rodney. Ron had leaned down and kissed him gently, his mouth lax with sleep as it brushed against Rodney’s.
“Merry Christmas,” Ronon whispered as he pulled away.
And despite Rodney’s apprehension and misgivings it really was. John and Teyla had conspired together and organised a party in John’s quarters, complete with eggnog and sparkly decorations. John sang off-tune renditions of Christmas carols that had them all giggling and Teyla sang a few of Athos’ own holiday songs. Ronon even sang the battle anthem of Sateda, a song they had heard many times previously but sounded different each time Ronon sang it. Captured and scared the song sounded like it was about survival, about comradery and strength. Here, warm and comfortable with his friends, no his family, the song sounded like it was about friendship and love. Rodney laced his fingers with Ronon’s and enjoyed the way the bigger man leaned even closer towards him, their sides touching. Rodney still wasn’t particularly enthused on the idea of Christmas but celebrating being together and alive with the people he loved made for the happiest holiday he had ever experienced. It was exactly what he had wished for all those years ago. Rodney suddenly began looking forward to next year for, as long as his friends were beside him, his Christmas would undoubtedly be a happy one.