This fic is a fluffy, sugary cliche, with creme filling. Nothing substantial at all about it, but, hey, it's Christmas!
leesa_perrie , I said I'd write you a Christmas fic, didn't I? :)
Title: Five Christmas Trees Which Rodney Decorated
Characters: Mostly Rodney, surprisingly enough
Word count: 1,300
Summary: It's pretty much what the title states outright ;)
“Meredith, would you like to put the star on the tree?”
“Yes!” He had been watching his baby sister as she stared in abject fascination at the lights, but now he bounced up instantly towards Dad.
“Alright, get ready!” Dad’s strong arms wrapped around him, and he was swung into the air, giggling as his mother passed him the gold-foil star.
“I can’t reach the top!”
Dad lifted him higher. “Up you go.”
Meredith stretched out and wound the star’s loop of thread around the very top of the dark green spruce, Dad’s arms supporting him as he leaned over the branches glittering with lesser ornaments. He was high up above the floor, with only the golden star on a level with him. “Now you’re an astronaut,” Dad said.
An astronaut. Meredith stared at the star, not touching it any more. It gleamed, close and billions of miles away.
Dad swung him around and through the air, making him shriek with laughter, and causing Mom to instinctively reach out towards where the Christmas cards were balanced on top of the bookcase. “Careful!”
“He’s fine,” Dad said, setting him down next to Jeannie, who waved her fists at him. “No peeking at the presents!” he added, sternly.
He needn’t have bothered. Meredith was too busy gazing upwards.
Mr Golding had decided that an artificial tree would benefit the atmosphere in his classroom during the final days of term. The maths club were making decorations for it.
Rodney bent closely over his fractal snowflake, moving the scissor blades with exquisite care as he cut it out of the surrounding paper.
Beside him, Greg was on his sixth, slightly jagged, snowflake. They were stacked on a corner of his table, out of the way of the blizzard of tiny paper clippings which covered the rest of it. “You only going to make one of those things?” he asked.
“I’m doing it properly.” Rodney frowned in concentration.
“You’re such a perfectionist, Meredith.”
Rodney looked up long enough to glare. It had taken years of school to finally get everyone to stop calling him that stupid name. Everyone except Greg, of course. They had known each other for too long and endured too much brotherly teasing on both sides for that ever to be likely to happen.
“At least I can be proud of mine.”
“I’m proud I’ve got way more than you do!”
Rodney picked up his snowflake and threaded it onto a piece of string, tying it in a loop. Then he got up and very carefully hung it on a branch, right at the exact centre of the tree as seen from the front. Every edge was sharp and straight. It was perfect.
He only wound up having a Christmas tree in his college dorm room because the guy next door (Jack? Or Jake? Anyway, he was out drinking so often that he’d probably forgotten himself) had won it in a raffle and, chancing to meet him in the hallway, had asked Rodney if he wanted to give it a home.
It was two feet high and a sort of mouldy green that was more reminiscent of forgotten-about-bread than Norwegian Spruce, which the box claimed it was. The stand was also broken, which was probably why Jack/Jake had given it away.
However, Rodney decided that he might as well make the most of it. He propped the tree against the wall, where it looked slightly pathetic. He didn’t have any decorations, so instead he balanced the Christmas cards he had received from friends over its branches, with a couple of letters which Jeannie had sent him over the term there as well. He made a pre-New-Year’s-resolution to start answering them.
Rodney trod on his latest exam paper as he stepped back to admire the effect. It wasn’t very traditional, but it would do. As an afterthought, he picked up the exam paper and balanced it at the very top. He had got a starred A for it, so it seemed appropriate.
Christmas in Siberia was cold. Really, really cold.
But although the food was disgusting and there wasn’t even any sun to look pretty when it shone on the several feet of snowdrifts, to his great surprise, Rodney found that he didn’t really mind that much at the moment. After all, the scientists he worked with weren’t that bad, really, although he did moan about them an awful lot in the emails he exchanged with Jeannie, who was his only real contact with the sane world which didn’t involve aliens and wormholes and non-disclosure agreements.
Maybe the large quantity of vodka they were drinking together was responsible for some of the new-found feelings of cam-a-ra-der-ie (he found himself spelling it out very slowly in his head), but he doubted it. He was, after all, a gen.. genary… nice person. Friendly. He had lots of friends. Who needed blonde Colonels with their noses in the air, anyway?
At some point, someone mentioned that it was a pity that they didn’t have a Christmas tree, to general agreement. So they all trekked out together, in temperatures that thought sub-zero was practically summery, to find one.
No one was too sure, the next day, of the exact reason why a large amount of the most colourful clothes belonging to the base members were hanging from the branches of the nearest pine like strange unseasonable fruit. But then, on that next day, everyone had more pressing concerns, which had mostly to do with their brains trying to smash their way out of their skulls.
“Maybe we should just write it up to alien influence,” Ivan, who was in charge, suggested at last, and no one felt like arguing.
“That isn’t a Christmas tree!” Rodney protested, as soon as he set eyes on the thing that John, Ford, Teyla and Stackhouse between them had just manhandled through the Gate.
John shrugged. “It’s tall, it’s green, it’s got leaves. What more do you want?”
Rodney flapped his hands. “It should be… you know… more pointy. And… not so tidy. Less like it was a lollipop in disguise.”
“I like it,” Elizabeth said, after peering at it intently for a few seconds.
The tree was planted in one of the expedition’s empty crates, after John and Ford had travelled back offworld to fill it with soil, and stood proudly next to the Gate. “What are we going to deck it with?” Ford asked.
Rodney grinned. “While you were gone, the best brains in the galaxy worked on that.” He paused, for dramatic effect.
“And?” John asked, giving dramatic effect no heed.
Rodney looked around, expecting an entrance to be made. But no one appeared, so he tapped his headset. “What’s the holdup? You were supposed to be here by now!”
“Yes, yes, when you leave us to do the lifting, you do not get to complain we are not quick enough,” Radek grumbled as he and Miko arrived late for their entrance cue, with a box carried between them.
Rodney made a flourishing gesture in its direction. “Decorations fit for… well, fit for a tree that isn’t a Christmas tree at all, I suppose.”
He had half-expected that he would have to bully people into helping him to hang the shining pieces of metal and the origami shapes which Miko (and Kavanagh, to everyone’s surprise) had folded, but there was a general press within minutes as word got around. Seemingly everyone on the expedition wanted to be part of preparing the celebrations for the first Christmas which the city of Atlantis had ever celebrated.
In fact, Rodney only got to hang one ornament himself; a crude star shape cut from a piece of an old metal equipment cover. But he didn’t feel the annoyance which usually bubbled up inside him when other people muscled in on his projects – only a warm, happy glow.
Slightly strange as it was, this might just be his favourite Christmas tree yet.