By Enola Jones

Written for the 12 Days of Christmas challenge. Day 8: Someone gets a bad Christmas present. Fudged it a little, but here you go.

Toronto was a long way from Cheyenne Mountain. So everyone was surprised when Woolsey – the real one this time – showed up at the Millers' door on Boxing Day.

"We have been invited to a formal banquet on the 28th – to introduce Atlantis's flagship team to the new President."

Ronon rumbled, "This is like a Presentation, then?"

Teyla nodded. "Yes, Ronon – meaning it is mandatory."

"So long as we're back for New Year's," Rodney said. "We promised we'd spend it here."

"We'll take care of Torren," Jeannie assured Teyla with a smile. She received a hug in return.

Kanaan looked decidedly ill. "Must I travel by airplane again?"

"No," John said fiercely. "We'll drive back down to Colorado when it's time to go home."

"And it is not necessary for you to accompany me, is it, Mister Woolsey?" Teyla asked in that diplomatic tone that indicated he'd better give the right answer.

Woolsey smiled. "Only the Team is required to go. Families are not."

Kanaan looked at Teyla. "Then I should like to remain and – help with Torren as well."

They all shot him grins that showed they weren't fooled for an instant.

Woolsey then lifted two of the three boxes he'd brought and handed them to Ronon and Teyla. "A gift from the SGC – formalwear for this occasion."

Ronon opened his, studied it, and set it aside. "I'll wear what I wore for the funeral."

Woolsey stared, then looked at John, who shrugged. "Best not to argue."

Teyla took her box and – with Jeannie in tow – went into the bedroom.

Fifteen minutes later, Jeannie called, "Hey, Mer? We need you in here."

Rodney came in – John right behind – and both men stopped cold as two jaws slammed open and two voices whispered, "Whoa...." in perfect unison.

Teyla was in a strapless sheath of the deepest black that fell to the floor. She looked at them with the look of a trapped animal. "I can not walk."

"It's a bad fit," Jeannie said.

"So why are we--" John began, but Rodney was stepping forward.

He circled Teyla. "You're right," he said. "It gaps at the top and is too tight below – she can't walk, it's got her legs pinned together like a mermaid."

"And it's not her, either," Jeannie said. "Her style is more slacks--"

"—or leggings," Rodney interrupted.

Jeanie burst into a grin. "Glad you agree." She brushed a kiss to his cheekbone. "I needed a second opinion."

"Glad to help," Rodney chuckled. He touched Teyla's arm. "Jeannie'll put it to rights," he assured her. Then he pulled John out of the room by his shirtcollar.

John gaped as they walked down the hall. "Wait a minute! How do you know about--"

"Someone had to keep a girl in fashionable clothes as we grew up," Rodney said softly. "It helped her get teased less than I did."

And John's hand closed around the back of Rodney's neck.


Finally, the day came for the Team to be presented. Rodney held up a camera to Secret Service and requested pictures to take four photographs – one with each of them meeting the President – for his sister. Once convinced she did exist and his suit was patted down for weapons and found that it was exactly as he'd said, they agreed for four pictures to be taken.

Woolsey did the introductions. "Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard, military commander of Atlantis base."

John – in his dress blues – saluted and shook the President's hand as Rodney snapped the picture. "Sir, it's an honour."

"The honour is mine," the President said. "Although there is a little matter of your not voting..." he teased.

Realising he was being teased, John snarked back, "Well, it is kind'a hard to get absentee ballots in another galaxy."

They laughed, then saluted each other as John stepped back and took the camera.

"Doctor Rodney McKay, scientific leader of Atlantis base," Woolsey said.

"We prefer it to just be called Atlantis, if that's okay," Rodney said as he shook the President's hand while John snapped the picture. "And it's wonderful to meet you."

"I've been looking forward to meeting you," the President grinned. "I've heard much about you from Colonel Carter."

"Oh." Rodney blinked, then smiled. "Well, don't believe a word of it. I'm really insecure, shy and retiring."

It took the President a moment to realise he was being teased, but then he took Rodney's hand in both of his and let loose with a laugh that had everyone in the room grinning.

Trying to regain some control, Woolsey next introduced, "Specialist Ronon Dex of Sateda."

"Sir," Ronon said, saluting in the Satedan way before shaking the proffered hand.

"Not much for formality?" the President teased, taking in the dark slacks and black button-down shirt.

"Couldn't find a tuxedo big enough," Ronon rumbled – deadpan.

Another laugh, and the President asked to see the Satedan salute again. Ronon demonstrated it slowly, and the President returned it in kind as Rodney snapped the picture.

Ronon breathed, "I want a copy," when he moved to stand beside Rodney.

"You'll have one," Rodney whispered back.

"And finally," Woolsey said, "Teyla Emmagan of Athos."

She stepped forward. Jeannie's talented scissors had turned the too-tight sheath into a slitted mini-skirt with black leggings and black flats. "Mister President," she greeted, "may I show you how we greet on Athos? It requires I touch your head."

"You may," he said, waving off a Secret Service man approaching at the unusual request.

And as she drew him down to touch foreheads in the Athosian way, Rodney took the final picture.

And promised the President copies as well.


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