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15 December 2007 @ 11:17 pm
The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas, SGA, McShep, PG  
Title: The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas
Author: valderys
Fandom: SGA
Pairing: John/Rodney
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,912
Notes: Written for undermistletoe, Day 15, Harlequin Week: The Billionaire Who Bought Christmas, or Deja You. Pretty fluffy. Also set in the DotCom!verse.
Summary: Once upon a time, there was a Billionaire who hated Christmas…

Once upon a time, there was a boy who disliked Christmas. Perhaps that was understandable, since Christmas tended to be the time when the boy’s parents argued the most, often leaving him to look after his little sister, before the slamming of one door or another descended the house into silence once more. The boy’s little sister would cry in his arms, and ask Rodney (for that was the boy’s name) why were Mummy and Daddy fighting again, and was it her fault?

Rodney would seethe at those times and reassure Jeannie (for that was the name of the boy’s little sister) that indeed it was not her fault that she had two high-maintenance drama queens for parents and that if he, Rodney, had anything to do with it, she would never be bothered with either of them ever again. The boy meant well, but sometimes his little sister just cried harder, and he never did really understand why.

Rodney hated Christmas.

One day, at school (although not at Christmas, for not everything does happen at Christmas, after all) Rodney was arrested for building a bomb. It was a really big bomb. “Oh please, it’s obviously not a working model,” Rodney kept saying, but it didn’t seem to matter to the men in the black suits, or the other men in the blue uniforms. He was held for questioning for eighteen hours. At the end of that time, Rodney decided he hated the military and the Men in Black, as well as Christmas, and not even several extremely good offers and a rather amusing film later on, caused him to change his mind.

He didn’t change his mind about Christmas either.

Instead, the boy grew up and went into business. He bought a promising idea or two from an enterprising young man called William Gates, improved them, and then came up with his own, since Rodney liked efficiency even more than he liked making money. He worked very hard for a long time, until all his hard work began to pay off. Rodney would have been quite pleased with this, if he had ever taken the time to notice that he was doing quite well, but instead, Rodney usually ended up working even harder than ever.

In the mean time, Rodney’s little sister Jeannie grew up, and then went to university, and then did some brilliant work in the field of theoretical physics, and then got pregnant, and then married a vegetarian English teacher. Rodney paid for all of it but failed to notice any of it, except possibly the vegetarian English teacher. Even Rodney couldn’t help but notice tofurkey at Christmas.

But since Rodney hated Christmas, he thought tofurkey was just another trial he had to endure, along with candied peel in everything, and the begging letters he got from all manner of crackpot organisations who thought he was some sort of piñata (if they banged on about whatever-it-was long enough, money would come tumbling out of him).

Eventually even Jeannie threw up her hands and got on with her life, and Rodney went back to work, never really noticing that he didn’t see Jeannie any more, except at Christmas, which he hated anyway.

Rodney never even noticed he was lonely.

Then one day, as Rodney was being flown in a Lear jet (not his own, he wasn’t quite rich enough yet), there was rather more turbulence than usual, and Rodney, being Rodney (who made his own sun cream, and carried an epipen, and an inhaler, and glucose tablets – just in case) screamed like a girl, before barrelling his way to the front of the plane and into the cockpit. His reasoning was he’d much rather see his own death coming than to be surprised by it. Rodney hated surprises, because he couldn’t lie to save his own life, and surprises often meant lying very fast. For example, when he came bursting into the cockpit of the Lear jet, and the pilot looked up, alarmed and concerned at his somewhat (all right, completely) overreacting passenger, Rodney’s first reaction was to exclaim, “Wow. You’re hot.” instead of anything more reasonable. And then to clamp a hand over his mouth in the usual excruciating embarrassment surprises often brought about.

Luckily the pilot (who’s name was John) thought Rodney was funny, rather than insane, and indeed, found him rather cute in an ‘oh my god, we’re all going to die’ kind of a way.

Rodney stayed in the cockpit for the rest of the flight, and the stewardess’ smiled behind their hands as they watched Rodney and John interact (although they didn’t laugh, because Rodney was a paying passenger).

One thing led to another thing, and it turned out that John only flew commercial jets because he wasn’t prepared to be closeted just so he could join the Air Force. “Oh,” said Rodney, and then, “Oh,” said Rodney, and asked him out to dinner.

John laughed, and said yes, and for once Rodney thought maybe Christmas wasn’t as overrated as he’d thought, since all of them seemed to have come at once.

So that was how Rodney, the boy who hated Christmas, came to be less lonely. John would fly in at crazy times, and at crazy schedules, and Rodney would drop everything to meet him. He even introduced John to Jeannie (and to Caleb and Madison) and they liked each other (although actually, what Jeannie said was, “Don’t screw this up, Mer!” which counted as liking in McKay-speak).

And so they lived happily ever after... well, actually, no. Not quite. Madison soon had a baby brother, and Caleb and Jeannie were very happy, but Rodney still worked very hard. And John’s crazy schedules didn’t get any less crazy, and when Rodney bought his own Lear jet and suggested John fly it for him, they had their first of many spectacular fights. Rodney couldn’t understand why John was being stubborn when this made far more sense for their scheduling, and John couldn’t make Rodney understand that having a boyfriend who was also his boss was unacceptable, not to mention just how much of a kept man did that make him?

At some point during fight number actually-he’d-lost-count, John walked out.

Rodney decided that pointy-eared, scruffy-haired, dangerously attractive pilots were another thing he hated, and was beginning to think he ought to write these things down, since it was getting to be rather a long list.

Soon after that, the world changed. Aliens turned out to not only be real, but also to actually want to invade the Earth, just like all those old B-movies had claimed. Everyone got very paranoid, and Rodney got even more busy. Apparently it no longer mattered whether you wanted to work for the military or not – there didn’t seem to be a difference any more. Rodney still hated it, but was distracted from how much by the charms of one Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter. She was blond, she was perky, and, best of all, she was the most intelligent human being Rodney had had the pleasure of talking to in a very long while.

Ok, so she barely knew who Batman was, and Dr Who was a blip on an extremely distant horizon, but Rodney decided that when someone has actually been living the dream for years in secret, perhaps they could be forgiven for not getting excited about limited edition dvds.

This time, Jeannie sat Rodney down and ranted at him for hours about wasted chances, and how there were only plenty more fish in the sea if he enjoyed swimming (which Rodney didn’t), and how he wasn’t getting any younger, and what was he, Mer, thinking... And at the end of all that, Rodney nodded thoughtfully, agreed with Jeannie (which flabbergasted her) and asked Sam to marry him.

It might have been the end of the world next week, so there was a lot of it about.

Although as it turned out, Rodney was very good at saving the world. So was Sam. It was a bone of contention.

And as it also turned out, limited edition dvds and their contents were important if you wanted interesting breakfast conversation that didn’t involve particle physics or Lorentzian wormholes, which occasionally, even Rodney, did.

The world was still about to end, but life went on, so it didn’t stop Sam and Rodney from getting a divorce, although it did mean that there was less squabbling over the spoons than there might have been. That, and the fact that Rodney could, by now, afford to buy the spoon factory.

Jeannie shook her head, but for once, didn’t say anything. Mer seemed so down. Christmas was coming, and Jeannie knew how much Rodney hated Christmas, and it had occurred to her that she may have had a little something to do with this train wreck, and was possibly feeling the teensiest, tiny bit guilty. But McKays didn’t say sorry, it just wasn’t in their nature, so, instead, Jeannie began to plan.

Then there was a confused series of events (even more confused than usual) that meant the world wasn’t going to end again, ever (or at least not for a very long time). Something about shifting the planet out of phase, which basically meant the Earth and everyone on it was invisible and intangible, except to each other. Rodney helped to save the world this time too, but really it had been Sam’s turn. Although not his Sam. (Told you it was confusing.)

To top it all off, Rodney ended up working in a metal military bunker instead of his nice glass-walled office, and although it was possibly the safest place in the world, and his glass-walled office had always given him vertigo if he’d looked out of the windows, the fact remained that Rodney was now spending his life in a hole in the ground.

They let him out for Christmas. (And Thanksgiving, but Rodney, being Canadian, hadn’t bothered with that.) Rodney flew to Jeannie’s in his very own Lear jet, but without John, it wasn’t the same. Rodney found himself sighing, a very little, before turning to his laptop and not thinking about things any more. He even found himself without the energy to shout at the stewardess properly when Christmas music began to be piped into the cabin – but he did his best.

Jeannie met him at the airport. She had a secretive smile, but since Rodney tended to notice such subtleties when Jeannie was punching him in the shoulder and not before, it didn’t really mean anything to him. They drove home and Jeannie smiled the whole way. She explained that Madison and Bradley were spending Christmas with Caleb’s folks, and Rodney grunted, mildly relieved that he wouldn’t be woken up at some ungodly hour of the morning by screaming kids. She explained that Caleb had to work, so wouldn’t be around that much, and Rodney nodded absently, wondering if that meant he could sneak some turkey twizzlers into the refrigerator. Jeannie also explained that she would have to be over at Caleb’s folks most of the time to take care of Madison and Bradley, and it was probably around then that Rodney began to smell a rat.

“What?” he asked, bewildered, and Jeannie grinned like a maniac.

“Surprise!” she said, as she let them both in the house.

There were no decorations. There was no tree. There were no stupid wreaths of holly. There were no annoyingly chirpy carols on repeat loop. There were no brats demanding presents. There was an enormous pile of snack foods, mostly of the salty and greasy variety, so all was not lost, but even so...

“What...?” asked Rodney, faintly.

“I know how much you hate Christmas,” said Jeannie, and led him through to the living room before slapping a remote into his hand. “So this way, you don’t have to celebrate it, or do anything else you don’t want to do. Happy Christmas, Mer!”

“Umm,” said Rodney, “Thank you...?” But he didn’t sound happy, not even to his own ears.

Jeannie bustled on her way, and Rodney looked around the quiet house. The kitchen had coffee, and there was beer (Molson’s) on the side. Rodney ate some Cheetos, and thought about his life. Then stopped because, given everything that had happened to him, it didn’t seem to be a very cheerful topic. At least the curfew had been lifted, surely he could be happy about that? Except he didn’t really have anywhere he wanted to go.

“Bah, humbug...” he tried, speaking to the empty room. It fell into utter silence. Rodney took the rest of the Cheetos and went to bed.

He was woken some time later by a furious knocking on the door. Confused, Rodney stumbled down the stairs in boxers and a ratty t-shirt. It wasn’t morning – it was still dark. But then it hadn’t been night-time when he went to bed. It all felt very dream-like. Jeannie wouldn’t need to knock, but who else would be calling at such an ungodly hour? Perhaps it was an emergency? Oh god, maybe it was the kids, in trouble or ill, or... Maybe it was burglars – polite ones who knocked.

Rodney took out an umbrella from the stand before he opened the door – after all, you never knew.

John stood there on the porch, glowering fiercely. He pushed his way into the house, and then he pushed his way into Rodney’s arms, and ended up with his nose mashed into the crook of Rodney’s neck as he shook and shook. Then he took a step back, and proceeded to shake Rodney too, until the umbrella (which Rodney was still clutching) went flap, bang, clatter against the banisters.

“What...?” said Rodney, and “Hey!” said Rodney, and then he kissed John back just as hard, and the umbrella fell unnoticed to the ground.

“What were you thinking?” said John, some time later, as they sat recovering on the floor in the dark. “Only you could actually get married on the rebound.”

But that made Rodney (obviously justifiably) indignant, and there may have been a certain amount of smacked heads, and possibly pokings of the upper arm. It made both of them very happy.

So then Rodney took John into the living room and put on the light. It was still bare. Rodney felt very guilty.

“Christ, McKay – I thought your sister liked you,” said John, looking appalled, and Rodney had to admit that actually he usually hated Christmas, and that this was Jeannie’s way of being thoughtful.

John looked at Rodney then, and his eyes got big, and then they narrowed, and Rodney’s chin went up, and it was amazing how much information could be communicated that way (particularly given that they were both guys).

Then John tackled Rodney to the sofa, and in the semi-darkness and comfort of Rodney’s warm belly, John mumbled, “Thought you were dead.”

“Not dead,” said Rodney, comfortingly, “Just in a hole in the ground.”

And there was some more poking.

In actual fact, (to translate), John had regretted walking out on Rodney almost straight away, but he’d been too stubborn to admit it, and by the time he’d talked himself into it again, Rodney was already seeing Sam. And then even when Sam was out of the picture, John couldn’t get through the stone-walling of Rodney’s people, and when Sam’s death had been reported in the news as an accident with the new super-duper-phase-shield-thingy he’d been terrified for Rodney, in case he’d just not been worth mentioning. Jeannie’s place at Christmas (where there were no security people) seemed like his only chance to prove his fears false.

Rodney, meanwhile, while still not admitting he was in the wrong in any way, conceded that John really needed his independence and that he may have been the tiniest bit over-bearing on the subject of John’s career and choices. Maybe. Just a little.

Not bad for a couple of shrugs, some eye-rolling and one lifted chin.

And so they lived happily ever after… Well, nearly. Because when exactly did the Billionaire buy Christmas?

It so happened, that later (much later), John told Rodney that while he liked the idea of spending Christmas in bed, he refused to live completely on Cheetos. And Rodney was so happy that, for once, he didn’t try to argue. Instead, Rodney picked up his cell phone, and called it in. Because for once, Rodney, the Boy who hated Christmas, was going to love Christmas very much indeed.

Rodney’s people were very efficient. Rodney paid them to be so. Rodney wasn’t allowed to buy John a Lear jet, he’d made that very clear, but there was absolutely nothing to stop him from buying anything else.

Within a very short space of time indeed, there was a rumbling noise, and then the first truck arrived. And then the second. And then the third.

There were trees, and tinsel, and angels for the top of them. There was holly, and mistletoe, and wreaths and lights. There was a life-size plastic Santa and his sleigh (the reindeers’ noses flashed). There was turkey, and pudding, and crackers, and a nice man and his machine that started showering the house in beautiful falling snow. There was…

There was John, red-faced and ominous, turning to Rodney with his fists clenched. “Rodney…!”

They did live happily ever after, really. It was just a bit louder in their corner of the world.
LadyCatladycat777 on December 15th, 2007 11:57 pm (UTC)
It was just a bit louder in their corner of the world.

That is the most perfect ending ever. Fantastic and sweet and I am grinning much like a loon now. Perfect for Christmas :)
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:36 pm (UTC)
Yay! Glad you enjoyed! A little fluff is ok at Christmas, after all!
She-who-enamels: xmas cookielillian13 on December 16th, 2007 12:11 am (UTC)
very sweet and goofy. just right!
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:37 pm (UTC)
Makes you want to pat it on the head and take it home! :)
Joolz: RodneyJohnjoolz01 on December 16th, 2007 12:24 am (UTC)
Sweet as cotton candy! That was adorable. (pinches both John and Rodney who are so cute) Thanks for the fic!
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
They look at you with fear - and then go back to poking each other! :)
Sihaya Blacksihayab on December 16th, 2007 02:55 am (UTC)
OMG, this is too funny!

They did live happily ever after, really. It was just a bit louder in their corner of the world.

Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:38 pm (UTC)
Not as sappy as 'It's a Wonderful Life' but close - damn close! :)
Sara: kind of bluepanisdead on December 16th, 2007 04:13 am (UTC)
I love the fairytale-esque style. Very cute!
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:39 pm (UTC)
Oh good! I thought it wasn't entirely appropriate for a Harlequin, but I didn't have time to write the whole thing out more naturally.
zvi LikesTV: SGAzvi_likes_tv on December 16th, 2007 04:39 am (UTC)
Heh heh heh heh heh. Loved it!
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:40 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thank you, hon!
Susan: catastrophist since 1982: thigh holstersdaydreamer on December 16th, 2007 05:53 am (UTC)
Oh yay, so much fun! I giggled quite a lot. :)
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:41 pm (UTC)
My work here is done... *dusts off hands*
blackpapertigerblackpapertiger on December 16th, 2007 04:16 pm (UTC)
that was hilarious, and the style was fantastic, so much fun to read because of the way you wrote it! thanks!
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:42 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It's not a style I've tried before, really, so I'm glad it worked.
celli on December 16th, 2007 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, heart. That is awesome.
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:43 pm (UTC)
Cheers, m'dear!
KB: Donald & Timmypsyko_kittie on December 16th, 2007 09:36 pm (UTC)
Fabulous venture into the dotcom!verse. :)
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 18th, 2007 04:45 pm (UTC)
There seems to be a lot of it about this Christmas, don't you think? Still, it tends to be an AU not overly written in, I think, so it's all good!
Beckybeeej on December 18th, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
\o/ I love this so much! When I was a kid, there was this thing called "Fractured Fairly Tales", and this reaminded me a lot of that. :D
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 19th, 2007 03:34 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I don't know those - but I was trying for a silly fairytale sort of feel, so it seems likely! Thank you!
Never store shuriken in your underwearporntestpilot on December 19th, 2007 05:16 pm (UTC)
Poking! Yay! I liked this very much, thank you!

ps. and very boy-like!
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on December 21st, 2007 10:14 pm (UTC)
Boys will be boys, after all! Thank you!
Edmund Crankypants: SGA Rodney How am I so awesome?anitac588 on December 23rd, 2007 01:07 pm (UTC)
Aaaww, very sweet!
I like when Rodney is a rich guy buying John stuff.
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on January 3rd, 2008 12:34 am (UTC)
Yep - he's adorable, isn't he! :)
the chicken is your superiorlavvyan on December 27th, 2007 03:10 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love this! The concept, the way you tell the story, everything. And that last line is just perfect. ♥
Valderys: John/Rodney - Penguinsvalderys on January 3rd, 2008 12:36 am (UTC)
Aww, thanks, hon! I'm glad it hits so many people's buttons!
Nuetronorange: John & Rodneynuetronorange on February 5th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
Hee! That was fun, I'm putting this in my memories under the grinfic! tag! Thanks.