Instead of Carousing

by Kass

Written for Chanukah 5773 / 2012. Sanj asked for Rodney and John, weird alien midwinter festivals. This is probably not what she had in mind, but hey. Instead of carou

"How did we get talked into this, again?" Rodney says for the twentieth time.

John, who is building a structurally improbable tower with Torren, downs another gulp of Athosian beer. "You're the one who agreed to it."

"I didn't realize it was the longest night of the year!" Rodney huffs.

"Relax," John tells him. "Get yourself a beer and help us build this city."

"You're building a city?" Rodney eyes their project dubiously.

John shrugs one shoulder. "Why not?"

Rodney sighs, pours himself a glass from the pitcher in Teyla's minifridge, and settles himself on the floor.

"I wanna build Atlantis," Torren tells them.

"That'll take some doing," Rodney objects, but John can see him assessing the components in Torren's set of blocks, trying to figure out how to fashion the spires.

"I just can't believe we're babysitting while Teyla and Kanaan and Ronon and Jennifer are all out carousing."

"Carousing?" John repeats, raising an eyebrow.

"Oh, shut up," Rodney says, and takes a gulp of beer.

"Look on the bright side," John offers, handing Torren a curved piece to serve as a bridge between one tower and the next. "He's still going to bed at 7:30."


"Longest night of the year," John reminds him, and watches the slow blush rise as understanding dawns.

"Oh," Rodney says inanely, smiling as though he can't help himself. He's looking down at the blocks around them and his lashes are long against his pink cheeks.

"Plenty of time just for us," John adds.

Rodney clears his throat. "Right. So Torren! You've got--" he makes a big show of consulting his watch -- "just under an hour left. So let's build the best city we can, and then it'll be time for pyjamas and bedtime."

"And books," Torren adds stubbornly.

"And a bedtime book, sure," John agrees, throwing Rodney a look which is meant to say do not argue with the child who wants us to read to him.

"And a song," Torren suggests.

"Don't push your luck," Rodney grouses, and Torren laughs delightedly.

"Smart kid," John says. "Already figured out how to turn your crank."

"You," Rodney says, pointing a finger at John, "do not talk to me about turning cranks." His voice is aiming for stern, but his eyes are laughing.

"You're no fun," John says, and tips his glass back to drink the last swig of beer, knowing Rodney is watching his throat as he swallows. Sure enough, Rodney's cheeks are even pinker when John puts his glass down.

They may not be out with their friends on midwinter's night, but they can make some holiday traditions of their own.

The End