Pairing: McShep; mentions of others
Summary: In real life, elves don't look like they do on TV.
Author's Notes: Very cracky AU because I wrote this while dealing with the flu.
In real life, elves don't look like they do on TV. The Lord of the Rings elves were tall and willowy; the most beautiful creatures in all of Middle Earth. The Santa elves were short and bearded; the jolliest inhabitants of the Earth.
Rodney McKay fit into neither category.
The head elf was broad-shouldered and stocky. And he was the opposite of jolly. In fact, he was currently tearing Major John Sheppard several new holes.
"What part of 'classified no fly zone' do you not understand, you slack jawed yokel?" the elf bellowed. "I thought the military was supposed to be good at obeying orders. Apparently, you're too stupid for the organization that's stupid enough to want to die."
"Everybody in every military organization across the world knows not to fly over this stretch of the South Pole. It's only two miles, even the damn Russians managed to not screw it up," Rodney yelled over John's protests. "But somehow Major Idiot here just happened to find Santa's friggin' workshop!"
"Yeah, about that," John interrupted. He paused to make sure he wasn't going to be shouted over and was the recipient of a very pointed glare. "I thought you guys were supposed to be at the North pole."
"Like you've never heard of misdirection," Rodney snapped. The bells on his hat jingled, but it was a frightening sort of jingle instead of being jolly. "We say North Pole and then everybody is so busy looking up there, they never think to ask why there's a stretch of the South Pole that nobody's allowed to touch."
"I always assumed there was some sort of...international top secret facility here," John said with a shrug.
"So you're naive too. The only reason they're not tearing each other apart in an attempt to claim Antarctica is because the big guy gives them goodies," Rodney replied. "And he's threatened to stop giving their kids gifts."
"Santa is blackmailing children?"
"Blackmailing isn't the world I'd use," the elf said. "Strategic negotiations. That's what I'd say."
A fair skinned, blondish man with a wide grin appeared behind Rodney's shoulder. He directed his grin at John and waved. The pilot raised a hand and waved back. "What are you doing, mental reject?"
"Waving at the nice elf," John responded.
"What?" Rodney spun around. "JONAS! Come here!" He turned back to John. "That's just Jonas. He's not an elf."
"What is he?" John asked, raising a skeptical eyebrow.
"I'm a faerie," Jonas said.
"What's a fairy--"
"Faerie," Jonas corrected. John didn't see a difference but he tried anyway.
"What's a...faerie...doing at the No- South Pole?"
"Don't ask!" Rodney demanded. "Jonas, what are you doing?"
"Introducing myself," he said with a grin. "What are you doing?"
"Berating the idiot who found our secret location," Rodney said before gesturing wildly. "NO! I'm not letting you do this to me! Not again!"
Jonas grinned. "So what's your name?"
"Maj. John Sheppard USAF," he said, holding out a hand. Jonas took it with both hands and shook it. John couldn't help a grin from spreading across his face.
"Stop fraternizing with the enemy," Rodney ordered. He pulled John's hand out of Jonas'. "And don't you encourage him."
"I thought I was the enemy," John said. Rodney threw his hands up into the air.
"Go back to the card room!"
Jonas nodded and waved at John before bouncing off. "He's an interesting fellow," John observed.
"Somebody has to read all the damn letters the big guy gets," Rodney replied with a shrug.
"Wait. You mean, he reads every letter every kid in the world sends to Santa Claus?"
"Yeah. Did you think the big guy did it himself?" Rodney asked. John shifted his eyes away guiltily. "Seriously? In addition to his myriad of duties, you think he sits down and reads every letter from the six million kids who believe in him and the three million kids who are unsure? When exactly do you think he does that--in between mucking out Rudolph's stall and building the hobby horses? 'Cause I have a newsflash for you, he doesn't do those either."
"Well, I didn't think he did those, I just thought..." John looked sheepish and scuffed his shoe against the floor. "I just thought that when I was writing to Santa, Santa read it and not Jonas the Fairy."
"Faerie," Rodney corrected absently.
"Seriously? How can you guys tell the difference?"
"Magic," Rodney replied, ticking off something on the clipboard in front of him. "Radek!" A hatless shorter elf with scruffy hair, glasses, work boots and a toolbelt hurried over, muttering to himself under his breath. He looked more like an airplane mechanic than an elf.
"Yes, Rodney?" he asked, pushing his glasses up higher on his nose.
"Are you sure this number is correct?" Radek leaned over and looked at the number on the clipboard.
He reached up and hit a button on a radio that John hadn't noticed before. "Kavanagh. Can you check number for us?" Radek nodded as the voice on the other end responded. "Thank you. Yes, Rodney, that is the correct number of iPods."
Rodney shook his head. "Kids these days. Whatever happened to handmade presents and sweaters?"
"Channukah Harry deals with that now," Radek replied.
"Wait, that old SNL bit is real?" John asked. Radek and Rodney looked at him before turning and staring at each other. Simultaneously, both elves burst out in laughter. "Laugh it up." The elves were supporting each other they were laughing so hard.
Radek wiped away tears. "I like him. You should ask the big guy if you can keep him."
"Ha ha ha," Rodney deadpanned. "Rudy is having problems with the heating in his stall. Why don't you go fix that before he's Rudolph the Congested Reindeer?"
"You are hilarious. I will go," he said, "But only because Rudolph is close personal friend of mine."
"Somebody has to be your friend!" Rodney called after the other elf. "What?" he snapped. John realised he was grinning.
"Nothing," the major replied.
"Nothing," he said, holding his hands up in defence. Rodney glared at him, but John just grinned back.
"Rodney," a musical voice called. Both men turned to look at a beautiful woman with dark skin and long hair.
"Teyla," Rodney replied, almost reverent in his tone. "What can I do for you?"
"The big guy wants to talk to him," a deep voice rumbled behind John. He spun around, hand immediately going to the sidearm that had been taken away from him when he entered the workshop. Standing behind John was a giant.
"Ronon, must you do that?" Rodney asked. John felt a bit vindicated to hear that he sounded out of breath and shocked.
The giant shrugged. "We need to take Maj. Sheppard to the control room," Teyla said.
"Lead the way." Rodney and John fell into step in between the couple.
"So what do they do?" John asked.
"We're part of the guards," Ronon rumbled.
"Guards?" John asked.
"Don't you watch TV? There's always somebody who wants to take over the workshop to use the big guy's powers for evil," Rodney said. "Ever since the cloaking device failed, we've used the Nutcracker Guard to protect the worker elves and the Clauses."
"I thought you guys told everybody you were at the North Pole to stop that?" John asked.
"Very good, John," Teyla replied. "Unfortunately, there are those of dubious morals and large cash flows who know the truth. And you are not the only person to stumble upon us accidentally." John gave Rodney a look as if to say 'See? I'm not as stupid as you think.' "To be honest, you are the calmest person who have seen in a long time here."
"I think he's stoned," Rodney said, crossing his arms. "Do you know what he said when he found this place? 'Cool.' What kind of moron thinks the workshop is cool?"
Ronon and Teyla shared a significant look.
The group reached a large double door painted in bright candy colours, predominantly red, white, and green. Two men were standing outside.
"Hello," Teyla said, nodding to both men. "This is John. John, this is my younger brother, Aiden." The younger man smiled and shook the pilot's hand.
"Nice to meet you, Major," he said.
"And this is Lorne."
"Ma'am," Lorne replied, giving Teyla what had to be a salute. "Sir. Major."
"Lorne's from the outside world," Ronon rumbled.
"I ran into Radek when I was on leave in Prague," Lorne said to John's unasked question. "He realised I wasn't totally human and asked if I wanted to come back here with him. The rest is history."
"Are there many people like you here?" John asked.
"A few," Lorne replied. "Parrish arrived about the same time I did. Kavanagh's been here about 10 or so years. Chuck's been here so long that people don't even realise he wasn't born here."
"Chuck's our version of an air traffic controller," Rodney explained. "He's been here since before we needed somebody to watch out for airplanes. We found him after he wrote some editorial in the New York Sun."
"What's the big guy want with him, bro-in-law?" Aiden asked Ronon quietly, trying not to interrupt the conversation. John immediately tuned out everything else, but Ronon just shrugged.
"C'mon on," Rodney said, putting his hand on John's shoulder. "We don't want the big guy to get any angrier."
They stepped through the doors into a giant room. Elves were rushing about, talking into radios. "If only you hadn't done this the week before Christmas," Rodney muttered.
"Sorry," John replied. "Next time I accidentally uncover a huge life changing secret, I'll make sure to work it into your schedule." Rodney looked away so John couldn't see him smile. A warmth spread across the pilot's belly and he had to duck his head.
"Hey, Walter," Rodney said to an elf sitting in front of a high tech computer screen.
"Hey, Rodney. The big guy is waiting." Rodney nodded and lead John down some stairs into the room with the sleigh. A man with salt and pepper hair wearing the familiar red and white suit was talking to a woman with dark hair wearing a similar red and white outfit.
"Santa and the Missus at last."
"You might not want to call them that," Rodney said. "Santa is just a title like Major or whatever Lorne was before he came."
"Major," Ronon supplied before wandering off.
"Does the American Air Force not have any other ranks?" Rodney demanded, gesticulating wildly.
"Rodney, focus!" John said.
"The big guy is named Jack," Rodney said, huffing slightly at being interrupted mid rant. "The 'Missus' as you put it is his sister, Elizabeth." A geeky looking guy with longish brown hair and glasses walked up to Santa. "That's the real Mrs. Claus. We just normally call him Daniel."
"Does Elizabeth have a husband I should be worried about?" John asked.
"Her name is Sam," Rodney replied.
"The entire Claus family is gay?" John asked.
"You have a problem with that?" Rodney crossed his arms over his chest.
JHannukahed an eyebrow at the elf. "Surprisingly, I always thought Noah Wyle wasdaisda hot."nrealizeddtool beltrealize
Rodney rolled his eyes. "Jack doesn't like to be called Santa unless it's Christmas so just stick to 'sir.' And call Elizabeth 'Dr. Claus.' She worked very hard to get that P.h.D." John repeated that information under his breath as he walked with Rodney and Teyla to met the big names behind Christmas.
"Jack, Maj. John Sheppard," Teyla introduced them with a slight bow.
"Sir, Dr. Claus," John said.
"I see Rodney's already briefed you," Jack said. Rodney blushed behind John's back. "I'll make you a deal." Daniel approached holding out a headset. "What is it now?"
"Jonas. He wants to know what he should do about Richard Woolsey's letter," Daniel said.
"Gimme that." Jack took the radio and put it on. "For crying out loud, Jonas! How many times do I have to tell you? Enter what he wants for Christmas into the database." There was a pause where John could hear Jonas's happy voice. "What do you mean 'What if it's not a child?' Who's not a child?" There was another pause. "Oh. Well, does he believe? Then put in what he wants anyway. He's not the only adult we get letters from." There was a longer pause. "Jonas, how long have you been doing this? Then you know what to do already!" Jack gave the headset back to Daniel and rolled his eyes. "Sometimes I wonder why I took this promotion."
"Because Hammond and Landry wanted to retire to the Caribbean?" Elizabeth supplied.
"Do me a favour," Jack said, turning to John. "Find a way to fix the cloak generator so we don't have to deal with people like you anymore, and I'll let you leave."
"I dunno," John said with a glance at Rodney. "This place seems to be growing on me."
"Then, fix the cloak and I'll let you stay," Jack said without missing a beat.
"I don't think you can have it both ways," said John with a frown.
"How do you think we deal with the people who try to take the workshop over?" Elizabeth asked. Rodney shivered and John decided not to ask.
"Carson and Jennifer think there's some sort of genetic component to the cloak," Jack said.
"Carson and Jennifer think everything has a genetic component," Rodney said.
"Just jealous she chose him over you," Ronon rumbled. Rodney and John jumped.
"Where did you come from?" Rodney demanded.
"Around," Ronon replied with a grin that wasn't much more than bearing his teeth.
"Let's get this show on the road," Rodney muttered.
"Lead on, MacDuff!" said John.
"McKay," Elizabeth and Jack said together.
"C'mon!" Rodney said as he stalked off. John followed behind, wondering what he had missed.
Two elves wearing dark green stepped into line on either side of John and didn't leave until they reached the cloak room.
"Bye, Mark and Smitty. Thanks for your help," Rodney said sarcastically as they left.
The cloak room was dominated by a large chair. More of the high tech computer screens lined the walls.
"I want to tell you a secret, Rodney," John said. "I know absolutely nothing about computers and know even less about magic."
"Really? I'm so surprised," Rodney said, pulling up one of the computers. "Jack's just trying to get this thing fixed. We'll spend a couple months working on it off and on and then he'll give it to somebody else."
"Oh," John said. He looked around while Rodney did whatever on the computer. He was in his twelfth position in 30 seconds when Rodney snapped.
"Just sit down somewhere and stop moving! You're distracting me!"
"Fine!" John said, throwing his hands up. "God." He sunk into the chair.
It lit up and leaned back.
"Oh. My. Presents." Rodney turned and looked at John. The pilot swore he could see him glowing. "We have cloak. We have cloak! WE HAVE CLOAK!" He ran up to the prone pilot and kissed him full on the mouth. "I gotta go tell Jack!"
John made a move to get up, but Rodney threw his hands at him.
"Sit in that chair!" he yelled. "You stay there no matter what! I don't care what happens you stay there!"
"Can't I come with you?"
"I will tie you down with tinsel and ribbon if it will keep you in that chair!" John sucked in a breath.
Rodney blushed and glanced down. "Yeah," he said softly. He stepped back on the dias and kissed John again. "I really have to go tell the big guy," he said, gesturing over his shoulder. Then he ran off.
John enjoyed the view as he left.
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