"What do you mean that's not allowed?" Jonas asks with wide opened eyes. I bury my face in my hands and make the wish that when I remove them again, it is gone. That *thing* on his head. I slowly count to ten and then uncover my eyes. I'm afraid of what I might see, and from the look on Carter's face and Teal'c's smug grin (Yes, I almost don't believe it myself, but *that* is a smug grin!) I prepare myself for the worst. So I try to explain again, in a surprisingly calm voice.
"Jonas, you can't wear a Santa head."
He still doesn't seem to get it. So I plead to the woman next to me: "Carter???" She has mercy and tells him why he can't wear a Santa head. Thank God he doesn't wear a beard and dress.
"Okay, see. Jonas, we are on a mission. A Santa head doesn't really define as discrete clothes, don't you think?" Jonas looks sad as he clarifies Teal'c told him today was Christmas and that the Tau'ri celebrate that day with dressing up as Santa Clauses and kissing each other under mistletoes. Yes, Teal'c grins smugly and I have to admit, that was a good one. Jonas looks hilarious with the fluffy red thing on his head. Nevertheless, I finally persuade him to remove it and we can continue our mission.
Carter strolls at my side and grins. I grin, too, though I'm really not happy being off world to accomplish that treaty with the inhabitants of P6R-whatever. But as SG-1 is the only team having no private life at all, we have to do this.
"I hope we'll be done with this, soon, so we can at least enjoy the rest of the day at home," I can hear Carter mutter. I have to admit, I thought the same thing. I want to spend Christmas with my friends.
"Yeah, everything is waiting for me. The christmas tree is waiting to be stuffed with tinsel and kitschy little things. The presents are all wrapped and longing to be unpacked. There is one with your name on it," I grin down at her. She winks.
We walk the rest in peaceful silence. I'm glad this planet is not a desert or tropical beach. It looks just like November or December Earth. Powdery blue and grey sky. Frosty air, no wind, hoar frost, and the far mountains show snow on their tops. The sun shines her pale cold light on us. Just like home. All I miss is a steaming mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine, a fireplace, a mistletoe and my 2IC. And a Christmas tree that glitters and reflects the warm, golden light of the fire. I can almost hear the flames crackle and Carter laugh at a joke I just told her or because I'm tickling her as I tenderly bite her neck.
"Sir?" Uh, that's not good O'Neill. I look at her as if she was Rudi the Reindeer (though she has his nose.hehe) and ask, raising both eyebrows, "Carter?"
"Uhm, we are there,sir."
"Yeah, I can see that." Never admit you've been dreaming away. So I turn away quickly and greet the king or whatever he is of our new allies.
I'm glad the inhabitants of that planet are easy to handle. We tell them we agree to what they want and they agree to our demands. Nice, let's go home.
We wave goodbye and I urge my team in direction of the Stargate. It's 1600. If we hurry we'll be home at 1730, we'll be done with the infirmary and briefing at 1900, maybe 1930 if we have any deseases and then head home. So we are pretty good in time this year. Not like last year as we've been trapped in that damned cave. And couldn't get out. I wonder if Daniel has Christmas, too, wherever he is.
I take a deep breath. "Sooo, kids. Anyone want to come over at my place?" Teal'c gives his "Indeed." which according to him fits to every question. Jonas starts prattleing how honoured he is and that he's never had Christmas before and yadda. I don't pay attention. Carter nods. "Yes, thank you, Sir." "Uhm, I could use some help with the Christmas tree..Look, I don't want to trust Jonas..and Teal'c, remember two years ago?" I keep that question hanging and then join her laughter. Teal'c and tinsel isn't too good a combination. Poor tree. Finally she tells me she'd love to help me. Great.
I rumble through my house. Everything is clean, I have punch (don't ask me where I got that from) and a fire is merrily burning in the fireplace. Soft Christmas songs are playing in the background and outside, snowflakes sail down to Earth. Finally the door bell rings and I prepare myself to greet Jonas in full Santa gear but thank god, somebody must have told him to come in normal clothes. I greet first Jonas and Teal'c and usher them in. Then I say hello to my 2IC. She stands in the doorframe, handing me some Christmas cookies she probably bought where I got my punch.
She still stands in the doorframe as if expecting something and then my brain starts working. "Come in," I finally invite her and she says thank you. She comes closer and...mh, kisses me. I can't say I forgot how she tasted but it is the first time, we *both* kissed and we both will remember it. "No, thank *you*," I mumble. I must look a little confused because she whispers "Mistletoe" and I -dumb as I am - whisper back "Where?"
Now it's her part to look confused and then up and as she doesn't find a mistletoe at my doorframe she blushes heavily and stutters some "excuse-me-sir'"s. "Uh, no problem Carter." I mumble back and then usher her into my living room. I knew I forgot something, *very* clever Jack.
As we enter, I can see Jonas and Teal'c have already fetched themselves some punch and are circling the Christmas tree. Jonas is still prattleing. "Don't touch it!" I yell, probably louder than necessary because they both back away from the tree, as if it was the pest. "Why don't you make yourself comfortable and have something to eat?" Which reminds me of the roast meat that's hopefully *not* burning in my oven. I dart out of the living room, into the kitchen, put the oven off and head back into the living room where Carter has started hanging little wooden reindeers at the branches of my Christmas tree. I join her and together we fiddle with the tinsel.
"No, you can't hang it there, Sir. It's not symmetric, there's too much tinsel on that side. Maybe you should take one step away and have a look from a further distance," she babbles. Okay. I tell her again to call me Jack, because it's Christmas but I don't think she'll ever drop the rank. Then I start throwing tinsel at her. I don't want a symmetric Christmas tree. I want a kitschy Christmas tree, a glittering Christmas tree and not a symmetric one. So. As I said, I throw the tinsel at her. "Um..sir??" "Jack. It's Ja-ack." Another pile of tinsel hits her and then happily hangs down from her hair. She grabs it and throws it back. She shouldn't have done that because that means war. "Okay, *Major*. Get your coat, we go outside. *Now*." I glare at her in a playful mood. She counters: "After you." And with that we both stomb out of the living room and into the snowy garden. I can hear Jonas mutter "I *love* Christmas. Can we go out, too, Teal'c?" I hope Teal'c will say now.
It took only seconds and Carter and I are aiming snowballs at one another. I don't know why I do that, but I just want to hit Carter with the balls I'm forming while throwing the others already done in her direction. It's dark and cold, but I don't mind. Above us, the sky is glittering with thousands of stars, and occasionally one or two snowflakes sail down on us. Out of the windows of my house shines a warm light. I can see Jonas press his nose at the pane to see what we are doing.
Damn. I was distracted. Carter obviously took advantage of me staring at Jonas to sneak up on behind of me and drob a *huge* pile of snow into my collar. The collar of my pullover that is. I eeck and then chase after her. I reach her, grab her and push her into the soft snow. She lies under me, flat on her stomach her face buried in said whiteness. She struggles and I have mercy and roll her over so that she lies on her back, yet me still on top.
I know, it's a chliché, but I think I get to like clichés. Because as we lie there, I was *very* close to do something stupid. We stare at each other and then my brain kicks in and I rise reluctantly. I reach out a hand to help her stand up, too, and try to ignore how her eyes try to lock with mine. I brush the snow off my clothes and she mimickes me. I didn't realize it started snowing and as I look back at her I find her eyes on me. And then my brain takes a break and my heart takes the lead. I reach out a cold hand to wipe the snow off her hair and feel her step closer. I hestiate for a moment and then I just bend down and kiss her, as if I had never done anything else in my life. She kisses me and Jonas will probably jump up and down behind my living room window and shout "Teal'c look, look." But I *so* don't care as I hold her in my arms and she holds me and the snow falls down on us and our mouths are hot and our faces cold.
I break he kiss and mumble "Mistletoe." And she mumbles "Where?" and then I hug her and smile in her hair.
We enter the house again and its warmth embraces us. It smells of food and pine and Teal'c is ordering Jonas to *not* mention the kiss to us. I leave Sam in the living room and vanish to get a dry sweater. Coming back I find my friends in the kitchen laying the table and preparing dinner. I love those guys.
We eat in comfortable silence. From time to time Jonas asks questions about other Earth traditions and Sam explains. Teal'c seems to be contend and I feel peaceful. I often catch myself glancing at the woman opposite me. Her hair still shimmers damp from the snow. We seem to be alright, but somehow I'm uneasy around her. Did we cross the line? Are we back in the room with our words? Or are we just playing?
After dinner we settle down in my living room. Jonas wants to listen to music, but the CD has stopped playing. So I look for another one with Christmas Songs and finally insert it into the player. It's starts with "It's the most wonderful time in the year". I like that song, it stands for Christmas and happiness. Family. Jonas seems satisfied and as I watch my family, I realize I'm content, too. It has been a while since I felt so relaxed but this evening is full of promises.
I sit down on the couch and watch Sam explain to Jonas how to roast marshmellows. He immediately tries it. Then Sam comes back and sits down beside me, closer than she normally would but behaving as if nothing happened between us.
"So..what about the present with my name on that wants to be unwrapped?" she teases nodding in direction of the pile of presents under the tinsel tree (Yeah, I might have been carried away a little, I admit.).
I non-chalantly shrug my shoulders but as even Teal'c emphasizes that it is *really* time to unwrap the presents I give in and stroll to my tree.
"Uhm, we probably should extinct the fire? We don't want to burn Santa Claus." I stop and look at Jonas. He looks almost concerned. I look away and shake my head. Teal'c looks smug again and Sam explains, that there is no Santa Claus and that it was just a fairy tale for the children. Now, Jonas seems really dissappointed. So I hand him his present, first. I bought it together with Teal'c, don't know where I got that idea from, but this year I one day woke up and knew what to buy for whom. Teal'c bows his head as he accepts his gift and I can tell from the look on his face that he really enjoys that he no longer is the freaky alien who does the funniest things.
Then I walk over to the couch and place Sams gift at the place she sat in. After she distributed her presents she sits down and hands me mine.
"Thank you," I smile and shake it to see what's in. I don't get a "oh-my-god-DON'T- shake-it"-look, so she learned from experience not to give me something I could break.
The sounds of "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" flow through the warm, comfortable room as we all struggle to unpack our gifts. I guess I won the inofficial "wrap-it-so-that-you-can't-unpack-it"-contest because I can her Sam swear. Jonas is very pleased with his presents and as I look around everybody seems to have gotten what they wished for. Including me. I look down at my new fishing-rot from Sam and then to her. Teal'c tries his new golf outfit and bag and seems very happy. Sam tries the new helmet for her motorcycle and smiles at me.
"Thank you," she says and hugs me (I'm glad she took it off first.). I thank her for my fishing-rot and tell her it was exactly what I wished for.
"Uhm, actually, it's mine. I just thought you might want to store it for me," she mumbles. Jonas is showing Teal'c his presents and I can only stare at her. Why would she buy herself a fishing-rot, wrap it, let me unwrap it and .?
She must read my thoughts and adds. "I thought that, I don't know, when I go fishing with you, I might need one?" her blue eyes make a puppy impression and then I understand. She gave me a promise, a voucher. And as I look at the ridiculous motorcycle helmet I understand I did so, too. It's too big for her, it'll never fit.
We grin at each other like idiots. And then Jonas comes over and thanks us for the presents and we thank him. I wonder why "My gift to you" tunes in the background?!
The CD obediently plays song after song. And what then happens, is the revelation. As "The man with the bag" sounds through my living room, now in a much higher volume thanks to a drunken Jonas, that very man pops up and stands in front of my tinsel tree.
I stare. I'm unable to move and stare at the heavy, tall man in red with the white, long beard. From behind me something tinkles and Sam must have the ability to turn around and look out of the window because I can hear her yell "Reindeers!". Teal'c has no idea where to look first. Santa, said reindeers or Jonas who darts forward and hugs the life out of the man in red.
What was in that punch?
I find the strength to look over at Sam and she stares at Santa, too. Then at me and then we both look at Teal'c who has stood up and pinches Santa in the arm.
"Ouch," his deep voice complains. So he's real. Jonas beams like a little kid and Sam only mutters "This isn't real.". Repeatedly. Then Santa places his huge sack on the floor, dives into it and fishes for presents, which he then hands each of us. Then he "Ho-ho-ho" 's, waves and with another pop, is gone. Our heads spin around and we stare out of the window and at the sledge which is flying away. "His nose is really red, did you see it?" I mutter breathless and Sam has probably no idea I'm talking about Rudi, but nevertheless she nods.
Then we stare at each other and at the packages in our hands. Jonas has already ripped his open and as he's still alive, it didn't explode or attack him, we all dare to open ours, too.
I peek in mine and then I understand it. I smile. Sam draws a pullover out of hers, with a card on it "To keep you warm in Jack's cabin". Teal'c seems happy with his membership for the local golf club, his card saying "Now you don't have to practice during time loops."
I wonder how he knew about it, but then we are talking about Daniel. And Daniel being Daniel, he didn't forget us even if he is in a higher level of existence. My card simply says "For your future. Never waste time." That's it. His present for me is this evening. I look up to my ceiling and say a silent "Thank you. Merry Christmas."
I look down at Sam and read in her eyes she knows, too. I look at Teal'c and Jonas, our newest member of SG-1 probably being the only one not understanding. Daniel once told me he wasn't allowed to interfere. But if he'd disguise it as dreams, who could accuse him he was? Thanks for spying on my friends and telling me what they wished for, Spacemonkey.
We are all merry and slowly grow tired. It was a long day. After two hours, Teal'c starts kel'no'reeming and Jonas is sleeping on his chair. Sam sits at my side, her head on my shoulder, my arm around her back.
"Merry Christmas, Jack," she whispers. "Merry Christmas, Sam," I whisper back. She snuggles closer and I know she won't go anywhere tonight.
Or the future. She's at my side, we promised it.
At Christmas, the day of love.