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24 March 2019 @ 01:39 am
[Stargate: Drabble] "Christmas Magic" [John/Rodney, G]  
Title: Christmas Magic
Author: Ami Ven
Rating: G
Word Count: 550
Prompt: (very late) Christmas present for goddess47
Fandom: Stargate Atlantis
Pairing(s): John Sheppard/Rodney McKay
Setting: part of my How About Forever ‘verse
Summary: “Do you believe in Santa Clause?”

Christmas Magic

Zoe waited until Isaac was down for his nap before heading into the kitchen. “Hey, Mom?”

“Yeah?” said John, not looking up from slicing the carrot-like tona roots they got from PX-997 – during the week they ate in the mess, but on weekends, he and Rodney tried to make homemade meals in their tiny kitchen, even if all they could manage were simple stews and casseroles. “What’s up?”

“Do you believe in Santa Clause?”

“Sure,” said John.

His daughter frowned. “Even if he’s not real?”

John looked up, sharply. “Who told you that?”

“Nobody,” she said, as though that was the problem.

“Then what makes you think he’s not real?” her father countered.

“Because magic isn’t real, Mom. Dad says so all the time.”

John let out a long breath and went back to his chopping. “Despite what he says, Dad doesn’t know everything.”

“He knows a lot,” said Zoe. “And so do I. Santa Clause just isn’t possible.”

“Yeah? How come?”

“How come what?” asked Rodney, coming into the kitchen. He leaned around John to John to snag a piece of tona root from the cutting board.

Your daughter,” said John, “was just about to explain why Santa isn’t real.”

“What?” said Rodney. “Who told you that?”

Nobody,” Zoe repeated. “He just can’t be. There are millions of people just on Earth. And even if Santa had advanced technology, he couldn’t visit every single person all in one night. And how does he know what everyone wants? Or get all those millions of presents on one sleigh?”

“I… well…” began Rodney, starting to look panicked, but John set down his knife and reached across the counter to touch Zoe’s hand.

“You’re right,” he said, softly. “Santa Clause isn’t an actual person.”

“Sheppard!” protested Rodney.

“Relax, McKay. I think that if she’s coming to us with scientific theories, she’s not going to be traumatized by this conversation.”

“Yeah, but…”

John came around the counter to hold both of Zoe’s hands in his own. “Santa’s not an actual person,” he repeated. “But that doesn’t mean he’s not real. Santa is the idea of Christmas, the spirit of generosity. When we do nice things for other people, we can all be Santa.”

“Huh,” said Zoe. “That makes a lot more sense than flying reindeer. But why did Dad think I’d be traumatized?”

“He’s a worrier,” said John. Then, before Rodney could protest, he added, “And some people can be hurt if they’re told things before they’re ready to hear them. So if there are other kids, even big ones like you, who still believe in Santa, you’ve got to let them, okay? They need to figure it out by themselves, like you did.”

Zoe nodded, solemnly. “I promise.”

“That is just unacceptable,” said Rodney.

“McKay…” John began warningly.

“We are not supposed to let our daughter grow up, Sheppard. She’s supposed to stay small and adorable and blindly trusting in anything her parents tell her. In fact,” he added, tilting his head at Zoe, “I think she’s gotten too tall already. We’ll have to fix that.”

Rodney put both hands over the top of Zoe’s head and pretended to push much harder than he was, until Zoe laughed and started batting him away.

John laughed, too, and went back to his cooking.

THE END

Current Mood:

mellow