Rascals - Chapter 24

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Christmas was not far away, and Janet had suggested they should have a Christmas party for the children. Teal'c thought it was an interesting idea, since he had never really experienced Christmas before. O'Neill had allowed himself to be convinced as well, though truth be told, he loved the idea.

They did not tell the children anything about it, and answered non-commitantly when Sam or Daniel asked about Christmas.

Janet managed to convince Cassandra to help, despite the fact she really felt she was too old to celebrate Christmas with six-year olds! 

They bought a small tree, as well as ornaments and decorations, gifts for each of the children - and a large bag and Santa suits for Teal'c and Jacob!

The children would certainly get a surprise!

On Christmas Eve, they brought the Christmas tree to the VIP quarter the children were staying in. There was no way they would be able to put it in there and decorate it without them waking up - if nothing else, the Tok'ra had better hearing than humans and would likely hear them.

As it turned out, the children were extremely happy to help decorating the tree - even if it did take much longer than it otherwise would have, and it did not look as 'perfect' and symmetric as it might otherwise have. That did not matter. The children were happy and thought the tree was pretty.

"We also need to hang Christmas stockings for Santa Claus to put small gifts and candy in!" Sam said, running to the drawer and rummaging through it for her largest socks. "Oh, we should have thought to buy some special socks for this!"

"Someone will give us gifts and candy in socks?" Freya inquired.

"Yes, don't you remember what I told you about Santa Claus?" Daniel said, eagerly. "We also need milk and cookies for him - and something for his reindeer so he won't be angry with us!"

He excitedly began explaining everything around Christmas and Santa Claus to Freya/Anise and Martouf/Lantash. They listened attentively, clearly very interested in this information. Now and then Sam would jump in with comments when she disagreed with Daniel, and the Tok'ra would ask questions, but eventually everyone seemed happy.

O'Neill and Janet found they enjoyed listening to the explanation - especially when they noticed Teal'c was paying rapt attention. Perhaps the Jaffa considered putting up a Christmas stocking of his own? O'Neill decided he better check and make sure to throw some candy in it if he did!

"Schhh...you have to be quiet." O'Neill whispered to Teal'c, when the Jaffa put down the large bag of gifts, a little less carefully than he could have.

"I am being quiet, O'Neill." Teal'c said. Thankfully in a lower voice than normal.

Janet and Cassandra giggled behind them, and Jacob threw them a stern look. "It goes for you two as well."

"You just both look so funny with those outfits on - and the beards!"

After quickly - and silently - stuffing small gifts and candy into the stockings the children had put up, they were about to put the larger gifts under the tree, when one of the children woke up.

"Santa Claus-es! Gifts!" Martouf exclaimed happily, sitting up.

The exclamation was loud enough to wake up Sam, Daniel, and Anise. They all stared at the two Santas - who together with O'Neill, Janet, and Cassandra were standing beside the Christmas tree. The latter three were wearing normal clothing, except for Santa hats.

"Merry Christmas!" Selmak said, acknowledging there was no way the children would go to sleep again until they had gotten their gifts.

"Hohoho..." Teal'c said, remembering the movie he had watched last night, in preparition of this role.

Janet snorted as she tried to contain the laugh, while Cassandra and O'Neill did not even try. They laughed out loud at the oddness of a Tok'ra Santa Claus - and especially a Jaffa Santa Claus, Teal'c in particular, with his often stoic appearance and behaviour.

"Merry Christmas!" The children chorused. They all started climbing out of bed. "Can we have gifts now?"

"Merry Christmas." O'Neill said, when he could for laughter. "Have you seen who's here with us?"

He indicated Garshaw, who stepped out from the other side of the tree where she had been admiring some of the decorations. She was seriously considering suggesting this to the rest of the Tok'ra Council when she came back. It would certainly cheer up the tunnels! 

"Hello, Martouf, Lantash, Samantha, Anise, Freya, Daniel!"

"Garshaw! Yosuuf!" Sam ran to her, throwing her arms around her. Garshaw picked her up.

"Samantha...I have missed you." She smiled at the others. "All of you!"

The other children jumped on her as well, and she happily hugged each of them, then Yosuuf did the same.

Sam hurried to Selmak afterwards.

"Are you really Santa Claus? You look exactly like Dad...and Selmak." She sounded very suspicious.

"Yes, I am Santa Claus - and so is he." She pointed at Teal'c. "These are our helpers."

"O'Neill, Janet, Cassandra, and Garshaw are elves?" Daniel asked. He tried to peek into the large bag Selmak was currently holding. It was full of wrapped gifts.

"Yes, we're...on temporary assignment." O'Neill said.

Garshaw pulled the small children aside for a moment. "I think you should pretend not to know who they are - just let them believe you have been fooled into thinking Teal'c and Jacob and Selmak are actually these Santa Clauses. You'll get more gifts that way!" She whispered.

The children all nodded, more than willing to pretend.

Martouf tried to sneak up from behind Selmak's back, and his hand was on its way into the bag when she quickly turned, having long since sensed the energy signature from Lantash.

"Aha! A naughty kid!"

"Oh! No no no! I'm not naughty!" Martouf said, suddenly worried as he remembered what Daniel had told them yesterday, about only nice kids getting presents.

"Well, we'll see about that." Jacob said, having been given control by Selmak. "Elf-Jack, do you have the list of naughty and nice children? I would like to consult it to see who are getting gifts here."

"Yes, just a moment..." He pretended to go through several pockets, looking for his list, while the children anxiously waited.

"If he doesn't find it, we'll get the benefit of the doubt, right?" Anise whispered to Daniel.

"We ought to..."

"Ah, here it is!"

"What does it say, O'Neill?" Teal'c inquired.

"Is it true you live on the North Pole, Santa?" Freya asked. She had seen a program on TV a few days before, so she knew it was a very cold place. She could not fathom why anyone would willingly want to stay in such a place, but perhaps it was for strategic reasons. Was he hiding from the Goa'uld, maybe?

"You know, you look a lot like Teal'c!" Daniel said.

"I am Santa Teal'c - and I am from Chulak." He looked at O'Neill who shook his head and then rolled his eyes at him. "A place on the Nortern Pole." He added, confidently.

"Chel'nok!" Lantash said, awed.

"I see there are several children here who have been nice - actually, all here are on the nice list!" O'Neill smiled at the children's obvious relief.

Jacob picked up one packet. "I have a gift here for 'Anise' - is there anyone here with that name?"

"Me! Me!" Anise squealed. Jacob gave her the packet and she immediately began tearing off the paper.

Teal'c took a packet from his bag and looked at the small label on it. "This one is for Martouf."

"Cool." O'Neill finished unwrapping his gift. "First season of 'the Simpsons'. That's a great gift!" He smiled happily. "How did you get this - and the gifts you found for the others? I mean, how did you even pay for them?" He suddenly got worried. "You did pay for them, didn't you?"

"Of course! Sam and I are both still getting paid by Stargate Command." Daniel said.

"Yeah, we found out about it a few weeks ago - and it's not like we use a lot of money right now, so we have plenty." Sam added.

O'Neill laughed. "So they couldn't figure out how to register you in their database, probably. Okay - their loss! How did you get to do the actual buying? Someone helped you?"

"Nope!" Martouf said. "Internet! We used Samantha's computer."

"Internet? I thought they had put some kind of block on your room so you couldn't use that?" O'Neill suddenly looked worried.

"Oh, they did. We hacked it!" Sam said.

"It was easy." Anise added, proudly.

"Perhaps we should discuss this further..." Jacob said, joining the conversation.

"We definitively should..." O'Neill said.

"...but not now. We've got a Christmas dinner to prepare. Turkey and Christmas pudding!" Janet reminded them.

"Turkey!" Martouf said happily.

"Pudding!" Sam smiled.

"Can I have eggnog?" Daniel asked, hopefully.

"No, Daniel!" Jacob, Janet, and O'Neill said at the same time.

"But there will be rum in the pudding, right?" He inquired. "Right? Please?"

They just smiled at him. "Let's go prepare the dinner!"


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