Written for the Twelve Days of Christmas challenge day 2: Someone sees something they just can't believe.
Rodney stepped out into the cold Toronto air and wrapped his arms around himself.
He still was mentally reeling over the speed of things moving over the last few days. It had begun with Woolsey coming to his quarters and telling him he was going Earthside for Christmas. And not just him – John, Ronon, Teyla, Kanaan and Torren were all going with him. And Woolsey would hear no arguments and had an answer for every excuse.
The small tribe had been met at the Toronto airport by Kaleb Miller – who had taken one look at Kanaan and had pulled the Athosian man into the bathroom to let him finish his bout of airsickness.
"He flies in spaceships," Rodney had asked, incredulous. "And he gets sick on a 757?"
"Spaceships have inertial dampers," John had replied. "And you can't watch the scenery go by. And also, figure in the fact that we hit turbulence...."
After that rocky start, they got to Jeannie's house. Madison was very excited, and promptly became attached to Teyla and "my baby."
No fights. No arguments. Rodney shivered. It was positively unnatural.
"What is going on here?" Rodney breathed.
"No loving family should be separated at Christmastime," an unexpected answer came.
Rodney whirled, his right hand automatically flashing down to a holster that wasn't there. "Show yourself!"
Woolsey stepped into the light, smiling. "All in this house are one large, loving family. And thus, you needed to be together at this time. For this is a holy time – a time for love."
"You're not Woolsey."
"No. I'm not. But he is aware of my doings."
"Who are you?"
And Woolsey melted into a young man with light hair and a dazzling smile. "My name is not yours to know. But I am here for your good."
"Rodney?" John had joined him and was staring at the young man as well.
"I..." Rodney breathed the impossible. "You're an angel."
The man bowed his head in a single gracious nod.
"And you....arranged this."
"You did?" John asked. "Why?"
"For your good," he repeated. "You and your City have some challenging times ahead. Your love for your family – both your Team and the family you have on Earth, and this is the family on Earth that you also have chosen as family, John – this love will be your anchor. So on this holy night, it is vital that your entire family be together. Bound close with cords of unbreakable love."
Rodney nodded. "To.... to charge the battery."
And the man's grin turned teasing. "Power-wise? More like to charge a ZPM."
Rodney's eyes widened as he fully understood.
"Blessings be upon you and your Team-Family, Rodney McKay. John Sheppard." And the man vanished.
"Rodney?" John breathed. "Did I hear that right?"
"We're a family," Rodney breathed, looking into John's eyes. ".......somehow, we've become an honest-to-God family."
"And that's....that bond.... that's what's going to pull us through," John finished.
Struck unexpectedly speechless, Rodney could only nod.
"Then come on." John took hold of Rodney's sleeve, and Rodney allowed himself to be pulled back into the wonderful maelstrom of family and light.
When things calmed several hours later, Jeannie and Teyla both smiled in fond affection to find Rodney asleep on the couch with Torren sleeping on his chest and Madison curled asleep beside him. And John crashed out on the floor underneath the couch.
Though Rodney and John never mentioned the visit to anyone else --- and talked of it in hushed tones of wonder when they did mention it among themselves– both kept the angel's words close. And they forged bonds of family that nothing could shatter.
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