Evan burst out laughing when David walked into their quarters. David was dressed in his normal Atlantis uniform with the addition of a sprig of mistletoe dangling from his belt, hanging straight over the middle of his pants.
"Subtle," Evan grinned as David leaned in for a kiss.
"Thought you’d like it," David laughed back.
"It would be a shame for such a creative prop to go to waste, too," Evan pointed out as he sank to his knees.
"Oh, I agree," David said, and then neither one of them spoke for a while.
David smiles as Evan steps through the wormhole. They’re on different teams now, since the repeal of DADT and their subsequent coming out as a couple, and it’s a little nerve-wracking, waiting for Evan to come home again each time he leaves Atlantis. So far, so good, and this is Evan’s fourteenth mission without David and he’s not got a scratch on him.
"Hey," Evan says, squeezing his hand. "Sorry."
David frowns. "For what?"
Evan just grins as he points at the huge Christmas tree in the Gate room. "I didn’t have time to get you anything."
"Oh," David says, smiling. "You’re home safely. That’s enough for me."
And it makes Evan smile, and that’s all David needs for Christmas, Evan home and safe and happy.
Cam’s offworld for the week before Christmas, so John takes the opportunity to decorate the apartment they share. He gets a tree and decorates it with the ornaments he finds in a box in a closet, hangs the stockings from the fake mantle, puts up the manger scene on an end table he’s appropriated from the guest bedroom for the time being. It’s not great, but he’s never decorated before, so he’s pretty sure Cam will forgive him.
He’s halfway through making his second-ever pie (the first was an utter failure, and is in the garbage) when the door and Cam walks in, opens a day early.
"John?" Cam asks from the front room, where the decorations are. John walks cautiously from the kitchen.
"Sorry if it sucks," he starts, but Cam comes up and squeezes him so tightly John has to gasp for air.
"It’s perfect," Cam declares, and John just smiles.
Evan’s idea of Christmas has always been about family, about putting up decorations and watching Stacie’s kids tear into presents with glee and drinking cocoa with his mom. David’s always thought of it as the same sort of thing, trading gifts with Sarah and Jason and his parents, spiced cider and fruitcake at night. On Atlantis, they don’t have any of those things, none of those people, but they have each other.
It’s a different kind of family, sure, but they’re still family to each other, and it’s a merry Christmas anyway.
"I got you something," David said a little shyly, holding a small box out. Evan took it and lifted the lid, finding a framed picture of him and David offworld. They’re both looking off to the right, and Evan’s leaning a little into David. They’re both smiling. "Janes took it on M5Y-386."
"Thanks," Evan smiles, holding out a box of his own. David’s face lights as he sees the small, carefully-labelled packets of seeds. "They’re from our trading partners."
"Thanks," David says back to him, and it seems natural to lean in and brush their lips together. When Evan pulls back, David’s still smiling.
"Merry Christmas," they say at the same time, and yeah, they’re still smiling.
"Merry Christmas!" Laurie squeals, throwing herself at John, who scoops her up and tosses her into the air. Cam finds himself with an armful of Lindsey a second later, and the girls scream with laughter as they greet their uncles.
The house is really decked out this year – Cam suspects Lena had a lot to do with it, what with being cooped up with the girls while Cole’s deployed – and the whole place smells like Christmas, pine and pies and the fire in the hearth. There’s garland and tinsel and ornaments crowded everywhere.
"This is Christmas?" John sounds a little bewildered as he walks to Cam’s side, holding Laurie comfortably.
"Welcome home," Cam replies, kissing John on the cheek. "And yeah, Merry Christmas."
Cam can’t help but laugh when he walks into his apartment, because of all the things he expected to see, John and wrapping paper and what must be miles of ribbon definitely isn’t it.
"What are you doing?" he asks as he picks tape out of John’s hair. John scowls.
"Wrapping your gift," John says, pointing to the oddly-shaped package on the floor in front of him. It’s certainly covered in paper, if not perfectly wrapped.
Cam can’t help chuckling a little more. "Thanks," he says, kissing John hello properly.
"Yeah, yeah," John pouts, but he’s smiling. "Merry Christmas."
John usually volunteers for mailman duty because he’s not expecting anything. It’s hard to order a Marine to do it when they’re staring longingly at their letter from home, so John’s taken to delivering all the mail himself.
He’s surprised to find a small box with his name on it among the packages. There’s no return address, nothing more than his name, but John’s seen his own name in that script enough to know who it’s from.
The only thing inside is a smooth, polished rock, shiny black, about the size of a nickel.
John’s smile as he delivers the mail is uncharacteristically bright, and if the Marines attribute it to Christmas spirit, well, that’s fine with him.
Evan really likes Christmas because he likes giving people things. It’s just how he is, how he’s always been, and he’s learned that people don’t really get that he’d honestly rather give than receive, but he continues anyway.
He hesitates before leaving a wrapped gift outside John’s door. It’s been a long time since he’s deliberated about a gift as much as he has this one, but this, out of all his gifts, really has to be perfect. He’d finally gone with an abstract painting of the East Pier as seen from the Control Tower. It’s the direction in which John usually stares.
The knock on his door that evening is unexpected, but John opens the door and walks in before Evan can even get up off the bed. "You made this?" he asks, holding out the small frame.
"Yeah," Evan says, carefully casual.
"I – this is…" He gestures helplessly. "Thank you. Thank you so much."
"You’re welcome," Evan says, and as John leaves, Evan thinks it’s probably the best gift he’s ever given.
John has the feeling that his normal approach to the holidays – locked away with a nice bottle of Scotch – isn’t going to fly this year. It’s not like he feels like he’s got to get a tree or garland or anything, but he’s pretty sure Evan won’t take well to him coming home drunk for Christmas.
He’s pretty surprised when Evan comes to his quarters on Christmas Eve with a nice-sized bottle of Johnny Walker and two glasses. Evan lets himself in and goes to the balcony. The seasons don’t line up this year, so it feels more like May than December, and John follows him and sits down.
"Merry Christmas," Evan says, handing him a glass and clinking his own against it before taking a sip.
"Merry Christmas," John replies, setting his glass down and leaning in for a kiss.
Maybe he’s luckier than he originally thought, to have found someone who even gets this part of him. That makes him pretty damn lucky.
"A fat man slides down your chimney and leaves you gifts," Ronon sums, then pauses. "And this is something you celebrate?"
"There’s religious stuff too," John says vaguely. "Ask Lorne. I don’t know."
"I’d shoot anyone who came into my house without permission," Ronon continues.
"Even if they left you presents?"
"Even when you were a kid?"
John pauses. "I got you something. You gonna shoot me?"
There’s a beat before Ronon says, "Not if it’s cake. Is it cake?"
John grins and holds out the plate he’d swiped from the mess hall. "It’s cake."
John’s not sure why, exactly, he agreed to go back to Auburn with Cam for the holidays, except that it made him smile so much when he’d finally given in and said yes that he’d thought it might be worth it. He’s reevaluating that opinion now, because there are at least ten children under the age of four looking at him with hopeful eyes, and he’s not sure he’s up for this.
But Cam’s next to him with an arm around his waist, and he’s beaming as he introduces John to his Momma and Daddy, who take to him like he’s a son they’ve just discovered, and yeah, this is going to be a good Christmas, John can just tell.
As long Cam keeps smiling like that, it’ll be the best Christmas ever.
The only reason John knows that today’s not a normal day is because Luke’s already out of bed when the alarm goes off, and that’s not how Luke is. Nope, Luke’s in the kitchen, and when John joins him, he puts a warm cup of coffee into John’s hands and gives him a kiss.
"Merry Christmas," he says, and oh, right, it’s Christmas.
"Merry Christmas," John replies, kissing Luke back.
It’s looking like it’s going to be one of the better holidays in memory.
It’s the middle of May-on-Earth when Ronon thrusts a package, wrapped in plain brown paper, onto John’s desk.
"Aphelku Menin Sto," Ronon says, looking at John expectantly.
"Um," John says. "Thanks."
Ronon shrugs. "It’s sort of like your Christmas. I got you something."
It’s a book, John realizes; actually, it’s two. The first is in a language he can’t read, something he’s never seen before, and the second is in Ronon’s careful handwriting.
"It’s a Satedan field commander’s guide," Ronon offers. "I translated it for you."
John is speechless as he stares at the books, then at Ronon, then back at the books. "I – uh, thanks," he finally manages.
"Yeah," Ronon says, clapping him on the shoulder before walking back out the door.
Cam has off from 1300 Christmas Eve to 0800 on December 26th, so he doesn’t even bother trying to get back to Auburn. It’s depressing, and his Momma sounded suspiciously teary when he’d told her, but it’s his life; anyway, he put up that little tree in the corner of his apartment and there are lights in the windows, so it at least feels like the holidays.
Cam’s in the middle of attempting a pie when the doorbell rings, so he dusts what flour he can from his hands and makes his way to the door.
"Hey," Evan says, grinning from ear to ear. "Can I come in?"
"Evan?" Cam asks, surprised. "I – wow. What are you doing here?"
Evan walks over the stoop, shuts the door, and wraps his arms around Cam, lifting his mouth to brush at Cam’s lips. "Wishing you a Merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas," Cam breathes back, and it is, now.
fawkesielady_ed and padfootthegrim
Christmas on Atlantis is strange, different than Evan’s used to. There’s no family there, for one, not even a way to call them, and Evan’s spent the holidays posted all around the world, but he’s never been as far away as he is now.
It’s wonderful too, though, because the tree that John dragged in from the mainland in easily twenty feet tall, and there are lights and ornaments and bows from top to bottom.
And there’s John.
John, who grins as he hands Evan a neatly-wraped box. John, whose smile softens as Evan opens it and pulls out a picture of himself, laughing, with his family gathered around him. John, who wraps his arms around Evan when Evan sits stunned, who kisses Evan’s temple softly, who doesn’t say anything when Evan closes his eyes and leans into the embrace.
It’s Christmas on Atlantis, and Evan might miss his family, but it’s not nearly as bad as he thought it would be.