I love Thanskgiving. It is a yearly holiday when I somehow always manage to weasel myself out of any sort of plans so I get to have the day all to myself with no need to go anywhere because everything's closed!! This year I'm theoretically "writing my resume" and "cleaning my house" but I think that may all look like "lazing around being thankful for a national holiday of procrastination allowedness." Yay!
Things what I am grateful for:
1) MY FAMBLYYYY!
2) MY FRIEEEEENZ! Y'all are mad sources of gleee and make me feel loved and useful and worthy and all kinds of silly happy things at all times of day. I think there may need to be another post where I squee about each and every one of you, actually.
3) My job! It may be ending real soon, but it has been just such a blessing to get to have it while I did. <3
4) Furry little beings with whiskers and cold noses and unbelievable cuteness!
5) SPARKY. And other fandom squeee. OMFG, yay!
And since 'tis the season, have a brief Sparkgiving ficlet (I CAN'T HELP MYSEEEEELF...):
Title: "Or Not"
Summary: They don't have time to keep track of these things.
When John turns up in her office, he's about two hours late and notably without a water recclamation report in his hands.
Elizabeth comes up for air from behind her reports just long enough to chide, "You're late," before waving him toward a chair in the hopes that he'll sit still and be quiet long enough for her to finish her budgeting thought.
Carry the one...
He doesn't sit. He bounces on his feet. She holds the numbers in her head just long enough to look up again enough to see that he is holding something behind his back.
Odds are she's not going to like whatever it is, so she manages to type a few numbers into her spreadsheet before mentally giving him three minutes of her time to waste and asking, "What's that?"
He's grinning. Now it's even more doubtful she'll like whatever he's hiding. He doesn't show it to her. "Happy Thanksgiving," he says instead.
"It is?" She's not even sure it's Thursday. With a 28-hour day on Atlantis, she has enough trouble remembering to schedule her calls to the IOA representatives during normal Stateside business hours -- keeping track of shifting national holidays has fallen outside of her sphere of life-or-death things to stay on top of.
"Yes, it is," he says. "Techically, we should all get the day off."
He's got two minutes left. She gives him a strained smile. "This isn't an American expedition, John." Then, in a brainstorm, "But if you'd like to take the rest of the day and go to the Mainland, you're more than welcome to."
He glares. "Nice try. Also, I'm hurt."
She should probably resolve to mock him less when she's in a bad mood, since it's a little unprofessional. Did people make resolutions at Thanksgiving? No, that was New Year's. God, she's been gone from Earth too long.
She mentally gives him another minute of her time as compensation. "Okay, so what are you planning to do for Thanksgiving?"
He presents her with the thing hiding behind his back -- a plate. It looks like food, so she's surprised she didn't smell anything...
"Um. No. I think it's some kind of... you know, probably best not to ask? But Murphy's in the kitchen congealing it-"
"I think the potatoes are real. You know, rehydrated, but-"
Elizabeth covers her face with her hands. "You wouldn't happen to have that water recclamation report I asked you for, would you?"
He sits down and nudges the plate toward her. She reflexively pushes her chair away from her desk to keep her distance. "You're changing the subject. It's a holiday, Elizabeth."
She looks around her cluttered desk, spying the eight open Excel tabs on her computer. John probably won't accept I'm beyond busy as an excuse, though really, she's finding it a little bit unfair that he's somehow not busy enough that he can find time to help Murphy congeal a fake turkey in the galley. "Does this holiday have to be celebrated with food?"
"Yes," he tells her. "Though if you just eat the potatoes, that's probably okay."
"And then I can get back to work?"
"A few of us are going to watch a football game in the lounge... it's not live, obviously, but... well, it's something."
Something in his voice distracts her from her reports, just for a minute. "Do you miss Thanksgiving?" she asks. They don't talk too much about Earth. They talk about everything else, really, but whenever Earth comes up John tends to change the subject, and really, now that she and Simon have split the intergalactic sheets -- maybe even before that -- she really doesn't mind.
"Football and turkey, yeah."
She smiles sympathetically and tries not to think about her extended family sitting at the long table in her mother's formal dining room, and how they're all probably worried about her. The food was always great, her family always gathered from all across the country (everyone else) and the world (her), and now she's in another galaxy contemplating fake turkey and a five-minute break between reports.
"And hand turkeys," John adds. "I like those."
Things like that don't really surprise her anymore, so she doesn't comment. They've been working together for far too long. "I don't think I'll be able to make it to the game." She spreads her hands over her desk. "Sorry. Besides, I think I know the final score by now."
"You're no fun."
She answers drily, "Not as much fun as a hand turkey, anyway."
He leans his elbows onto her desk, peering around her computer. "What are you working on?"
"Budgets. Reports." She raises an eyebrow. "Water recclamation."
"It's not like we're lacking water," he points out. "We are in the middle of the ocean."
She sets her brain to tuning-John-out mode and goes back to her Excel spreadsheets, when the automatic date box at the top of the sheet makes her think.
"Hey, John? It's not Thanksgiving."
He looks alarmed. "What!?"
"No. It's only Wednesday back home until... 2100 tonight." He looks so crushed that she has to bite back a laugh. "We're in another galaxy; I think it's okay for you to still watch your football game."
"Are you sure your clock is right?" It's a good question. All their computer clocks went a bit nuts after they tried to reprogram them for Atlantis time, but she thinks she properly debugged this one, so she nods. "Damn."
"You've got a whole other day for those hand turkeys now. And no excuse for not getting me that report sometime today...?"
He mutters something under his breath, than says, "Are you going to take tomorrow off, then?"
"I can't, John-"
"Hey, it's not like you don't have warning now."
She sighs. "There's no way I'll be done with all of this."
"No one back home is going to be reading your reports on Thanksgiving, Elizabeth."
She doesn't budge, although in all honesty, at least half the bones in her body are screaming for some time away from this desk. Watching the same football game for the eighteenth time isn't her idea of what she'd rather be doing, mind you, but...
"Here's the deal," John tells her, standing and planting his hands on her desk. "Since you just ruined my Thanksgiving-"
"It's not my fault you didn't check the calendar."
He waves a hand to cut her off. "I'll help you with the budgets today. Tomorrow we throw a pick-up football game on the mainland, and you come along."
She pauses. "You're going to help?"
"Hey! I help!"
"I know, but-"
"Don't say it, or I'm taking back my offer."
An afternoon outside on the mainland sounds nice. Really nice. Too nice. "One of us really needs to stay in the city."
He doesn't say anything. That's her technique, she realizes, the pregnant pause that usually works to convince him around to her point of view. Damn, the man is stealing her material. They really have been working together for too long.
"I can't promise."
"Yes, you can. McKay won't want to come, so he'll be here. It'll be good for morale."
She rolls her eyes. "Morale."
"Okay, my morale." He smiles, and this one is a little more hesitant. "Come on, Elizabeth. We've both been working too hard."
She'd like to, but she really can't argue with that. "You'll get me that report today?"
"Spell-checked and everything."
"You won't make me eat this turkey?"
"Just tell Murphy that I did."
"It'll be a new tradition," he tempts her, wheedling like a little kid, and she suddenly has no problem at all picturing him tracing his hand and coloring it with crayons.
Late or not with reports, even aside from all the death-defying things he does for their city in the line of duty, she's pretty darned lucky to have him around. "Okay, okay, I'm in."
He beams and takes a few steps toward the door. "I'm holding you to that."
"Oh, I know you are... hey! Remember that report!"
She's laughing by the time he makes his escape, and with everything on her to-do list, she really didn't think that was going to happen today. She moves the unidentifiable Thanksgiving feast to the other corner of her office, just in case it decides to sprout legs and take over her desk (it could happen, she assures herself -- there's always the potential for her day to turn into a bad horror movie, as it does so often these days).
In less than an hour, he emails her saying 1800, West lounge. You bring the budget, I'll bring the fake potatoes.
The water recclamation report is attached. She grins. Something to be thankful for, after all.