Word Count: ~1500
Warnings: None apply
Disclaimer: The characters and such from Stargate: Atlantis belong to people far richer than myself. I'm just taking them out of the box for a bit of fun. I promise I'll put them back when I'm done.
Author's Notes: This is my last assigned SGA Santa fic! So sad. :( So I went with something very light and fluffy. To my recip, I hope you enjoy it! :D
Summary: It's Christmas-equivalent morning on Atlantis, and Kate has a special surprise for Teyla.
The day was like any other to the people of the Pegasus galaxy, to the city herself, and even to many members of the Expedition. But to a few of them, it was a brilliant sunny morning that would soon lead to a festive celebration. Soon, presents would be given among those who'd signed up for the gift exchange, and later that evening, a low-key movie party. The votes on the movie to be screened had been tallied, but the winner was to be a surprise.
Kate Heightmeyer woke in her quarters and watched the tiny tree on her bedside table blink its red and green lights at her. She smiled, and used the tree as a meditative point to begin her morning visualization ritual. Every day, for about five minutes in the morning, Kate would take the time to imagine how her day would go. It kept her focused, and sometimes revealed things to her that she'd been suppressing.
It was during one such meditation that she'd come to terms with her feelings for someone in her life, but back then she had figured there was nothing to be done about it. Even if that someone had returned her affections, she was the Expedition's psychologist. With Atlantis cut off from Earth, she was the one solely responsible for the mental well-being of everyone on base.
After they had regained contact with Earth, however, Kate had sought out Teyla on a regular basis, frequently dining with her between missions and briefings, working up the courage to find out if there was a possible future between them - and one more than friendship.
As it turned out, Teyla not only returned the feeling, she'd been doing essentially the same thing with Kate.
And now, it was Christmas morning, and Kate had someone wonderful to share it with. The parties and the gifts would be nice, of course, but they would never be able to measure up to the love she'd found in Teyla Emmagan.
Kate was on her way to the mess hall, where the gift exchange would occur. She'd selected Chuck's name from the pool and had her gift for him balanced on one hand like a serving platter as she touched her destination on the transporter's console. Upon reaching Teyla's door, she knocked three times.
Teyla greeted her with a smile when she opened the door. "Why, Dr. Heightmeyer, what a pleasant surprise."
"Surprise, my ass," Kate said, entering Teyla's quarters. She gave Teyla a light smack on the rear. "Like you weren't expecting me."
Teyla stole a quick kiss before grabbing her wrapped package and leading the way.
"I must confess," Telya started, "though I did not draw your name in the gift exchange, I do have a present for you later."
"And I as well," Kate said.
They crossed into the mess and took in the garland and lights strung around the room. They were early, but a few people were by the long table against the wall, helping themselves to punch.
"Shall we?" Teyla gestured, and Kate walked ahead of her towards the tree, made entirely of light strands. It had been the most economical way of getting any sort of tree into the city, yet it was more magnificent than anything else Kate could imagine, especially set against the large windows of the city, the ocean providing a lovely backdrop. Kate set her gift beneath the tree, Teyla following suit. It wasn't her first Christmas with the people of Earth, but she still preferred to follow someone else's lead all the same, since she didn't consider it her holiday.
More people drifted in as Kate sat with Teyla by a window, taking the rare opportunity for a meandering chat that was completely non-work related.
Sgt. Amelia Banks was checking people off the list, and once everyone was accounted for, the gifts were passed out according to their tag.
"Why don't you open yours first?" Teyla asked.
"I can do that."
Kate examined the square package, tiny octopus-looking creatures in Santa hats staring at her with blank eyes from the mostly green wrapping paper.
"What exactly is that strange creature?" Teyla asked.
"I believe it's Cthulhu," Kate replied. "It's... from a book. I'm sure the library has it, if you're interested."
"Perhaps later," Teyla smirked.
Kate tore at the paper. Lifting the lid on the white box beneath, she was faced with a block of styrofoam. She upended the box and gently slid out the foam block. Teyla whipped out a knife from God only knows where and cut the tape holding the block together.
Nestled inside the foam was a snow globe.
"Oh, my... This is..."
Inside the globe was a miniature Atlantis. Kate turned the globe upside-down and back upright, shaking up the snow inside.
"That is magnificent," Teyla proclaimed. "Who could have made such a thing?"
"I don't know, but it's beautiful," Kate said. "I love it."
The truth of the matter was that the compensation provided them by the SGC was hardly ever put to use. Whoever had given Kate this gift clearly believed that meant that the holidays were a time for extravagance.
Kate set the globe down and turned to Teyla. "Your turn."
"Oh, dear," Teyla said. She picked up the cellophane-wrapped basket by her feet. "I wonder what it could be?"
Kate laughed as Teyla pulled the dark green plastic off the basket enough to see inside it.
"Oh," she said curiously. Then she looked to Kate. "Candles. An abundance of them, too."
Kate peered into the basket. There were easily two dozen candles inside, the mixing aromas hitting Kate's nose with full force. Some were pillars, some were votives, and there were a couple of larger three-wick candles, too.
"Someone knows you very well, Teyla," Kate said.
"I have a sneaking suspicion I know who."
Teyla scanned the room, saw John sitting at a table with Ronon, and she waved. John waved back, then gave her a thumbs up.
Kate remembered when Colonel Sheppard had interrupted their lunch a couple of weeks ago to ask Teyla for recommendations on scents that would be good for meditation.
"Of course," Kate said.
"Although it's not like he was careful to hide it."
Kate scanned the rest of the room and saw Chuck already playing with his gift: an odd set of board games from a specialty shop in San Francisco that Kate had discovered last time she was on Earth. Chuck was roping Miko, Sgt. Banks, and Dr. Zelenka into starting a game of Zombie Road Trip, and he passed Pandemic over to John, Ronon, Rodney, and Carson to play. 7 Wonders and a three-player Chess set still sat to the side, waiting to be picked up and played.
"Shall we join them?" Teyla asked.
"In a minute," Kate replied, returning her attention to Teyla. "First, my gift to you."
Kate handed Teyla a small square jewelry box, at which Teyla coyly smiled.
"Mine to you is still in my quarters," Teyla said apologetically.
"You can give it to me later," Kate insisted. "Open it."
Teyla pulled off the paper and opened the box to find a copper key inside, its clover-shaped handle attached to a long chain. Kate plucked it from the box and hung it around Teyla's neck.
"It's gorgeous," Teyla said.
"It's more symbolic, actually, of the actual gift," Kate said.
"This isn't the gift?"
"Teyla, I've been thinking, and I..." Kate took a deep breath, steadying herself and taking Teyla's hands in her own. "Well, I'll just come right out and say it. I want you to move in with me."
Teyla's mouth fell open.
"Or... I could move in with you, if you prefer?"
Teyla smiled then. "Of course I will."
Kate leaned in for a kiss, and the room erupted in hoots and cheers. Teyla had never seen Kate blush quite so much, hiding her face in her hand until everyone around them settled down.
"Is it customary to cheer one's friends' public displays of affection during holidays?" Teyla asked, enjoying the further reddening of Kate's cheeks.
"Sometimes it is." Kate shook her head at her own embarrassment.
"Come on, then," Teyla said, pulling Kate to her feet. "There are games to be played. And then another gift for you."
Kate stopped her for one more second, pulling her into another kiss, on-lookers be damned. They seemed to have gotten it out of their system by then.
"Happy holidays, Teyla," Kate said.
Teyla smiled. "And merry Christmas to you."
Their fingers twined together, Kate allowed Teyla to lead her toward Chuck's table, where they joined Laura and Evan as they set up for a game of 7 Wonders.