Content Warning: Some adult themes
Season: Between 2 and 3
Summary: Sheppard gives Sabina something really huge for Christmas ... This is just a little story with lots of fluff and not much plot ... I know it’s not Christmas BUT I wanted to do a birthday story after I put all that stuff in about birthdays in the season 2 story ... because NYE is Sabina’s pretend birthday I had to do a Christmas story first – and that makes sense to me even if it doesn’t to everyone else!!
Pairings: John Sheppard & Original Character
Spoilers for: Nothing really
Disclaimer: The Stargate characters, storylines, etc aren’t mine – we went on a long cross country journey together and now I’m just heading out for a little bush walk. I am unfortunately not associated in any way with the creators, owners, or producers of Stargate or any of its media franchises. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, equipment, etc are the property of whoever owns them. The original characters and plot and anything else I made up are the property of me, the author. No copyright infringement is intended.
Copyright (c) 2008 ShaViva
Christmas Cheer ... Sabina Style!
“Thank God that’s over,” I threw myself down on the bed and buried my head in the pillow.
“You know,” John sat down next to me and put a hand on my back, “you really suck at the whole festive season thing.”
“Please don’t tell me you like all the singing and decorations and people smiling all the time and ...” I turned over to look up at John. “I’m seriously gonna have to rethink this relationship if you say you do,” I threatened jokingly.
“Okay,” John admitted. “All that does get a bit much – but you’ve gotta admit the food was worth it.”
“Anything with turkey in it is worth it as far as you’re concerned,” I pointed out. John just raised an eyebrow at me and I relented. “Okay – yes the food was almost worth having to sit around listening to people reminiscing about chopping down live trees and turning them into dead trees so they can hang a bunch of stuff on them.”
“Christmas was hard for you growing up,” John made that a statement and not a question. “I wondered if you’d even bother turning up for the dinner. You didn’t last year.”
“It was important to you so it was important to me,” I looked up to find him smiling fondly at me. “Don’t go getting all mushy on me though,” I warned.
“Did you never –,“ John broke off, not wanting to bring up something that might upset me.
“Special occasions as a general rule suck when you’re in foster care,” I said easily. I’d told John about my childhood and I was comfortable admitting that maybe I had a few issues because of it. “But I’m willing to bet that even if I hadn’t had that kind of experience I still wouldn’t like all that Christmas crap.”
“Probably not,” John laughed ruefully. He looked at me intently for a few moments, clearly wanting to say something.
“What?” I asked curiously.
“Do you want your present now?” John asked, trying for a casual look but failing miserably. He was clearly worried about how I was going to react to that one.
“Uh,” I said. With the vast vocabulary of English and the Ancient language at my disposal that was the best I could come up with. I had thought because the day was almost over that I’d gotten away without having to open and then react to gifts from anyone. I’d even suspected that John might have said something to the others to make sure I didn’t have to deal with any of that.
“I’m gonna take that as a yes,” John said, quickly jumping up and rummaging around in the draws on his side of the bed. He turned back to me, took a deep breath and then handed me a small wrapped package.
“John,” I looked up at him imploringly.
“Open it,” John urged, not at all bothered by my lack of enthusiasm.
“Are you gonna be disappointed if I don’t react the right way to this?” I asked, holding the package on the palm of one hand like it might jump up and bite me if I wasn’t careful.
“There is no right way,” John stressed. “Just open it.”
“Okay,” I muttered under my breath, turning the package over in my hands, trying to assess by its weight and size what it might be. Hesitantly I peeled the paper away to reveal a small wooden box carved with Ancient symbols.
“Scientia addo sapiential,” I traced a finger over the words. “Knowledge brings wisdom.” I looked up at John to see him watching me avidly. He gestured for me to open the box.
“Okay,” I whispered, lifting the lid slowly and carefully. Inside was a small ancient device, much the same size as a standard flash drive. As soon as I touched it the device lit up with Ancient blue light. Taking it carefully from the box I held it in my palm, concentrating on determining what it was. “A key and ... something more?” I asked.
“I found something a month or so back,” John said excitedly. “This is like the access pass to get in. Wanna go see?”
“Do I?” I asked reluctantly. After all, the last time John found something it was the room we now shared together. That turned out great but initially the pressure of not being quite ready for the next step in our relationship at exactly the same time had caused some tension and stress for both of us.
“You do,” John almost vowed. He pulled me from the bed and practically dragged me out of the room. One transporter ride and about 20 corridors and turns later I found myself standing outside one of the rooms near the top of the south tower.
“So this is it?” I looked carefully around the door, spotting the slot for the key almost immediately. Putting the key device in the slot I hesitated before pushing it into place. “Are you sure ...?”
“Just do it,” John said impatiently, reaching over and pushing my hand, still holding the key, firmly such that the key clicked loudly in the night time quiet.
“Now you’ve done it,” I muttered. The door whooshed open silently, revealing a dark, circular room. I stepped through the doorway, John following close behind. As soon as the room detected our ATA genes it lit up, revealing its contents to me.
“Oh John,” I said almost tearfully, gazing around the room in wonder. Turning back to him I threw my arms around him and kissed him enthusiastically.
“I take it you like it?” John laughed, still holding on to me as I looked around some more.
“Like it?” I demanded, turning back to him. “I love it ... I love you!”
“That’s good to know,” John put an arm around me and drew me beside him so we could both look around. The room that John had found ... the room he was ‘giving’ me ... was an Ancient library of real books. The room was twice as high as most of the rooms on Atlantis, with walls made up entirely of shelves. Each shelf had books of various sizes and designs. The shelves were all encased in some kind of protective barrier that shimmered faintly, presumably to stop the books from ageing or getting damaged.
“I didn’t think the Ancients ever went in for actual paper books,” I commented reverently.
“The shelves have a special seal,” John revealed. “Given the age of these books they’d have had to do something to ensure their preservation – hence the key device and making sure only a descendant of the Ancients could get in.”
“Can I handle the books?” I asked curiously.
“Look over here,” John drew me to a door way I hadn’t noticed previously. “This little room is the viewing room. It’s all automatic – you slot in the key device to activate the book you want. The system shoots if off the back of the shelf through to this room and into the special viewing case. It’s shielded so you can put your hands inside to look at the books without damaging them.”
“That is so cool,” I said gleefully. “I’m gonna be the first person in 10,000 years ... hell the first human ever to look at these books!”
“Yes you are,” John agreed solemnly.
“This has got to be the best present anyone ever got,” I exclaimed. “Don’t bother even trying to give me anything else ever again because you’ll never top this!”
“That sounds like a challenge,” John said lightly. “And you know I like a challenge.”
“I’m just saying ...” I denied. “This is really, really, cool.” Turning away I moved closer to the shelves and looked intently at the nearest books. “These ones are fiction!” I exclaimed, even more excited than before if that was possible. “I have to read one.”
I inserted the key device into the slot for one of the books and then watched in amazement as it was sucked off the shelf backwards without a sound. I ran into the viewing room in time to see the book shoot up from the floor of the viewing chamber and come to rest on the platform inside. Taking a deep breath I sat down and put my hands hesitantly forward. My fingers tingled as they passed through the shield and within seconds I was touching the book. Carefully I turned the first page and began to read.
“What’s it about?” John asked me a few minutes later.
“Sorry,” I looked at him apologetically. “It’s the story of a young girl who travels to another planet in search of her family.”
“Sounds appropriate for your first Ancient fiction,” John smiled at my absorption in the tale. “You do realise that looking at all these books is a lifetimes work right?”
“More than a lifetime,” I pointed out. Regretfully I pulled my hands from within the viewing chamber, leaving the book poised inside ready for my return. “I can come back and finish this later,” I said, walking back to John and taking his hand. “We have to get back to our room now because I ah ... I have something to give you too.”
“You do not!” John protested.
“Yes I do,” I insisted, dragging him back the way we’d come.
“Then how come you didn’t give it to me earlier?” John asked suspiciously.
“Because,” I pulled him down the hall to our quarters, “I hadn’t worked up the nerve yet. You giving me that library made me realise that I shouldn’t be such a chicken.”
“Oh,” John walked into the room behind me, watching as I walked to a section of the wall and waved my hand over it. “I forgot about the wall safe thing – should have used one for my surprise.”
“Next time,” I dismissed his comment, coming back to him with a badly wrapped package. “Ah ... Merry Christmas I guess,” I said awkwardly.
“What is it?” John asked, sitting on the bed. He turned the package over in his hands and gave it a curious shake ... with sudden clarity I could see how he would have been as a child, excited each Christmas morning.
“Isn’t that the purpose of opening it – to find out what it is?” I teased sarcastically.
“Right,” John smiled across at me, before ripping the paper away to reveal an Ancient data pad. “Not that I’m not pleased, but I already have one of these,” he frowned at me in confusion.
“Ah, but not one with the contents of this one,” I replied almost excitedly. “Just activate it.”
The data pad came to life immediately, showing John a diagram that had him sitting up in amazement. “Is this what I think it is?” he asked with a similar reverence to that I’d shown for the books.
“If you think it’s a prototype Ancient aircraft similar to our helicopters, then yes,” I replied smugly, sitting down next to him.
“Prototype?” John looked at me quizzically.
“Prototype – as in build one to see if it works,” I replied, watching to see when the penny dropped.
“There’s one of these things in Atlantis?” John asked almost numbly.
“Indeed there is,” I replied gleefully. “And you happen to be sitting next to one of only two people on Atlantis who know where it is.”
“How?” John turned to look at me.
“I found it when I was searching for the Hippaforalkus,” I smiled, “sorry – the Orion. I saved it for your Christmas present purposely because there’s no way I was gonna have a better idea than this. I had Rodney check it out to make sure it’s flight worthy and he gave it the all clear.”
“Maybe we could –,“ John began, shifting like he was about to get up.
“I don’t think so” I replied, putting a hand firmly down on his leg. “It’s dark and I’m not showing you the hangar until it’s safe to fly it. Plus I’m coming with you when you take it up for the first time.”
“It might not be safe ...” John looked at me with concern.
“To borrow your own words from a while back ... if it’s safe for anyone to go then it’s safe for me to go,” I replied smugly. “I know you want to read all the schematics and technical specs on the Tabernus tonight but –“
“Tabernus?,” John interrupted me to say distastefully. “That’s what it’s called?”
“Not really,” I admitted. “The Ancients never gave it a name, since they built only one and then abandoned the project in favour of Puddle Jumpers. I named it that because it means hover in Ancient.”
“I guess I could get used to calling it that,” John said reluctantly.
“You can rename it later,” I said with a laugh at his obvious disappointment. “Anyway, it doesn’t matter what it’s called as long as it flies,” I pointed out.
“True,” John said, smiling gleefully. “Which it will!”
“Okay flyboy,” I swivelled from my seat next to him so that I could sit on his lap, facing towards him. “As much as we both want to go off and enjoy our presents, now is clearly not the time, so ...” I let my voice fade as I walked my fingers up John’s chest and into his hair, smoothing a hand through to the back so that I could pull him towards me. “I wonder what we can do in the mean time.”
“I’m sure we’ll think of something,” John replied, putting a hand on either side of my face and pulling me into a heated kiss.
Kissing him back enthusiastically, I leant into him enough that John fell backwards onto the bed, taking me with him. Laughing at his surprised expression I quickly straddled him, leaning down to rain kisses over his face. I’d managed to get his shirt mostly off before he took the lead again, flipping us over so that he surrounded me with his heat and strength. Making quick work of my clothes and then his we both sighed in the pleasure of lots of skin to skin contact. John looked at me intently as he made us one, enjoying the sight of me going all misty eyed and weak limbed with the thrill of it.
“I love you,” John vowed, overwhelming me with his physical presence and his emotions - I think my eyes actually got glassy with unshed tears as I looked into his eyes mutely, hoping he’s see that I felt the same. John kissed his smile to mine before beginning the dance that would take us over the edge together.
“Thanks for the best Christmas in my living memory,” I said quietly some time later.
“You’re welcome,” John replied, pulling me in close and wrapping himself around me. He sighed contentedly, about ready to drop into sleep.
“I suppose I wouldn’t mind if we ... did something like this again next year,” I admitted after another few moments of silence.
“If you want,” John mumbled. “For now, can we sleep? We’ve both got toys to play with tomorrow!”
“Maybe we should give each other presents in the morning next year,” I suggested a minute or so later. ‘That way we can –“
“Sabina,” John raised himself slightly to look down at me. “Sleep!” He pressed a grumpy kiss on my lips, flopped back down and got himself comfortable again.
“Okay,” I whispered. “Sleep it is.”
I’m just using straight Latin for my Ancient text – I’m not smart enough to alter it to still sound like Latin but not be Latin! I use tranexp dot com for mine ... unchecked so no promises as to the ultimate accuracy/validity. So if you know Latin and something I used wasn’t an accurate translation ... well that’s probably because it’s really Ancient!!
Also if you’re a Disney Beauty and the Beast fan then you’d rightly recognise the “library as a gift” theme. I’ve loved that since the first time I saw it and for me it works just as well on Atlantis as it did in animation.
Finally I love Christmas crap myself ... children make it special and since I have three that’s not exactly a surprise! So no real Christmas bashing was intended ...