John walked down the hallway, shaking his head. Atlantis was still apologising. It wasn't really her fault, she had tried to stop them.
But the new scientists, overeager to prove themselves, had activated a device and had turned every non-ATA carrier in the city into children.
Fortunately, Ronon had been offworld. Last thing they had needed was a pint-sized overly-aggressive warrior. John couldn't repress the chuckle at the thought that the big man probably had been a biter as a child.
But Teyla had been affected. She was now not much older than her toddler son. Torren had not been affected at all, and he'd been happily babbling away to his mother-turned-friend when John and Rodney had broken into her quarters.
It had happened at the worst time, too – Christmas. The city was suddenly full of children eagerly looking forward to presents that probably wouldn't be coming.
But somehow, the still-adults were making it work. Handmade and jury-rigged gifts were the order of the day Christmas morning. Even little Teyla got something from John --- a spare ipod filled with songs he knew she had loved and new ones she might like.
Rodney met them in John's quarters after the main celebration. He went in to check on the sleeping Torren, then came and sat by Teyla. "Sorry I missed the party."
"I'm used to it," she said with a shrug.
Rodney shook his head. He was still not used to hearing the little girl use contractions. "You shouldn't have to be. Here." He handed her a box.
John blinked as she lifted out the necklace her father had given her the first time she was little. "Rodney," he hissed.
"Don't worry, it's just a stone this time," Rodney smiled. "One from Earth, no ATA-activation possible. No signal or anything. Just a pretty bauble."
"Oh, it's lovely," Teyla breathed. And she hugged Rodney so hard and so tight that all he could do was rub her slender back and smile.
In that smile, John saw something. "What?"
"I can fix this," Rodney beamed. "And in the morning, I will."
"In the morning?" John squeaked.
"John," Rodney said firmly. "She's a child. Let her enjoy her first carefree Christmas as a child before we go growing her up again."
John sat beside them, nodding and fastening the necklace around Teyla's neck. "There you go, a pretty necklace for a pretty princess."
And he gasped as she hugged him as well.
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