A/N: Happy birthday, Keira! Hope you have a great day. Marlislash/fanarts_series made this wonderful banner to go with this little ditty. Hope you enjoy it.
Thanks to Sorceresscirce for beta’ing.
As ever, I do not own SGA. I just like to play in their playground.
“Elizabeth, do you have a moment?”
Elizabeth looks up from the latest report of SA-4 and smiles as she sees Kate hovering at her door. Straightening in her seat, she waves her in. “Of course, have a seat. What can I do for you?”
As she takes the offered chair, Kate folds her hands over her pad, the smile on her face warm, if a little hesitant. Elizabeth frowns, wondering why Kate is wary of broaching whatever subject has brought her to her office.
Clearing her throat, Kate’s eyes flicker briefly to Elizabeth’s laptop before focusing back on the woman in front of her. “I hear SA-2 came back from their trade mission yesterday,” she hedges.
Nodding, Elizabeth waits for Kate to continue. After a heartbeat, she does. “It seems like they were able to trade for a sugar substitute, as well as flour.”
Again, Elizabeth nods, at a loss as to where the conversation is headed. Kate doesn’t normally concern herself with trade missions, after all.
“And SA-7 came back a couple of weeks ago with fabrics,” Kate states.
“Yes, they did,” Elizabeth replies, leaning forward to try to get a read on the other woman.
“Dr. Beckett’s mentioned to me that supplies for anti-depressants are dwindling.”
Elizabeth blinks at the sudden turn. “Yes, I read his report,” she says, puzzled.
Kate’s lips turn up in a slight smile, as if she knows she’s caught Elizabeth off-guard and has her off-balance. It isn’t a feeling Elizabeth enjoys, truth be told, and thankfully not one that happens very often.
Pressing her advantage, Kate apparently decides to go for one more segue. “It’s October 20th, today.”
Feeling well and truly nonplussed, Elizabeth tilts her head, her eyes narrowing in suspicion. “What are you getting at, Kate?” she asks quietly.
Taking a deep breath, Kate leans forward, her hands now clasped firmly as she holds the other woman’s gaze. “I think it might be a good idea if we took a break, so to speak.”
“A break?” Elizabeth’s response sounds more wry than she’d intended.
“Yes,” Kate insists. “Or more precisely, if we allow for a little bit of fun. I believe it would help everyone if we were to throw a Halloween party. Have people dress up. Make Halloween-centric foods and beverages. The works. It would be a nice distraction from day-to-day life in Pegasus, and I think it’d be good for the Athosians to see some of our customs, too.”
Eyes twinkling, Elizabeth grins. “Kate, I like the way you think.”
The next eleven days are busier and crazier than normal, what with the preparations for the Halloween party going on as well the status quo of life on Atlantis. It seems to Elizabeth that every time she steps out of her office, there are more decorations everywhere. Whenever there’s a lull in business, people have their heads together to discuss costume ideas. John and Rodney had found a large room to designate for sewing. Elizabeth figures that it’ll remain as a workshop, since there’s no doubt in her mind that they’ll need to do more sewing in the future. Someone even put a spinning wheel and a weaving loom in there, though she has no idea how it was managed. She knows for a fact none were brought along from Earth. Still, it is nice to see people are thinking ahead.
She walks by the workshop on her way to the mess hall, just to check in. There are several people slaving away over last-minute details on their outfits. Miko is working on Elizabeth’s costume for her. “How’s it going, Miko?” Elizabeth asks quietly, putting a hand gently on the woman’s shoulder.
Glancing up, Miko grins as she holds up what will be a ‘Sally’ dress from The Nightmare Before Christmas. “What do you think?”
Touching the fabric gingerly, Elizabeth smiles, her eyes widening in delight. “Oh, Miko, that’s perfect. Thank you.”
“You are most welcome. All the makeup should be finished on time, too. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s outfits,” Miko says as she starts working again.
“As am I. Do you know, John and Rodney have refused to tell anyone what they’re going as? Do you have any idea?” Elizabeth asks, knowing that if anyone’s able to find out, it’ll be Miko.
Alas, Miko shakes her head, pouting slightly. “No. I even tried hacking into Dr. McKay’s private laptop, but there was nothing on it. Well, nothing about the party, at least.”
“Guess we’ll all have to be surprised. I’m sure it’ll be something good, knowing those two.”
“Indeed,” Miko agrees.
With a gentle squeeze to the other woman’s shoulder, Elizabeth takes her leave with a parting, “I owe you coffee for doing this for me, Miko.”
Miko looks up with a wicked grin and nods. “The good stuff.”
Holding up both hands, Elizabeth chuckles. “Of course. Wouldn’t dream of doing anything else,” she assures.
With that, she heads to the mess hall in search of food. She pauses a moment to take in the decorations in the hall. There are several mummies, zombies, and witches. There are even several ghosts suspended from the ceiling, though she has no idea how they managed that, and she figures it’s best not to ask. Taking a few steps inside, she isn’t quite able to stifle a shriek as something reaches out to her – something that looks frighteningly like a Wraith hand. Stumbling, she turns, her hand clasped to her throat as it sinks in it’s only a puppet.
“Told you it’d work,” someone chuckles gleefully from behind her.
Turning on her heel, she glares at the culprit. Rodney. Of course. And next to him, John is visibly fighting to keep a straight face and not doing so very well. “Gentlemen. Whose idea was this?” she asks as sternly as she’s able.
Rodney flushes, raising his hand guiltily.
Narrowing her eyes, she lets him stew for a minute before relenting. “Well done,” she admits, her lips twitching slightly.
Eyes widening, Rodney’s head swivels from her to John and back a couple of times before he finally manages a stammered, “Err, thanks.”
John grins as he puts his hand on Rodney’s neck and ushers him out of the hall. “See you tonight, Elizabeth,” he calls over his shoulder.
Rodney waves at her, and even before they’re completely out of earshot starts talking excitedly. “Oh man, did you see how she-?” and then they’re gone.
Elizabeth can’t keep from smiling as she puts the finishing touches on her makeup, and ‘Sally’ smiles back at her. Taking another moment to appreciate her look, she has to admit that Miko has outdone herself. “Well, this should be interesting,” she tells her reflection.
As she leaves her apartment, she chuckles at the two jedi that are coming up the corridor. Heading to the transporter, so nods a greeting at Gandalf and a woman that looks vaguely familiar. It takes Elizabeth a minute to place her as ‘Donna Noble’ from Doctor Who, and that is only because the man walking up to her is ‘The Doctor’, judging by the blue striped suit, tousled hair, and the black-rimmed glasses – and the sonic screwdriver sticking out of his breast pocket.
She’s halfway between the transporter and the mess hall when she spots a small cluster of people, laughing and poking at each other’s costumes. Blinking, she walks over to the group. She grins as she takes in Ronon as ‘Hulk’ and Teyla’s transformation into the ‘Black Widow’. “Very nice,” she says, grinning.
Ronon strikes the signature ‘Hulk’ pose and roars, though it quickly morphs into a belly laugh. The others join in even as Teyla bows her head and thanks her.
Elizabeth eyes ‘Captain America’ and ‘Ironman’, the latter of which has what appears to be a working arc reactor, if such things actually existed. Arching a brow, she smirks. “I take it this was your idea, gentlemen?”
“Of course,” drawls John from under his blue mask.
Which leaves Rodney as ‘Ironman’. Elizabeth gives him a once-over and nods. “Great job, Rodney. Though I’m curious as to how you managed all of that in so short a time.”
Rodney waves off her remark, and though she can’t actually see his eyes, she’s certain he’s rolling them at her. “A few sleepless nights, but it was so worth it.”
A chuckle draws Elizabeth’s attention to ‘Indiana Jones’, and her eyes widen. “Major Lorne … you should wear that sort of outfit more often. It suits you,” she teases, causing Evan to blush.
“Ma’am,” he mutters, scratching the back of his neck.
Grinning, Elizabeth points at the whip coiled at his hip and adds, “You actually know how to use that thing?”
“Not really,” Evan admits with a wry smile. “Borrowed it off one of the Athosians.”
Nodding, Elizabeth gestures for them to continue on to the mess hall. They talk as they go, Ronon explaining that John and Rodney had introduced Teyla and him to The Avengers. “Hulk. Smash!” he roars as they enter the hall, causing heads to turn.
The whole room is brimming with life and laughter as she looks around. Everyone seems more carefree than she’s ever seen them. Radek, who’s dressed in black and seemingly holding his severed head in his hand with blood still glistening from the ‘wounds’, offers her a steaming, ghoulishly green drink.
Taking a sip, she’s surprised to find it’s actually quite tasty and reminiscent of apple cider, though obviously the Pegasus version. “Thank you. Nice costume.”
“Thanks, you too,” Radek says, grinning. “From The Nightmare Before Christmas, yes?”
Eyes widened, she nods. “Yes, it is. I’m surprised you know it.”
Radek shrugs. “Am rather fond of Tim Burton. Many late nights watching movies, if I wasn’t working,” he admits. “Excuse me,” he says, then wanders off to talk to a scarecrow.
Elizabeth tries some of the food laid out. There are finger-shaped cookies, what appears to be tuna salad shaped as a brain, pumpkin-shaped cakes, homemade candies, and much more. She can’t recall ever having seen a Halloween party like it. She’s proud of her people for the effort they’ve put into the evening.
“Told you this would be a good thing,” says Kate from behind her.
Turning, Elizabeth stares at the imposing figure in front of her. She doesn’t recognize the costume, but it seems to truly fit Kate well. She’s dressed in a formal black suit, wearing white gloves, and a red tie of a sort, as well as glasses. She’s holding an unlit cigar, and Elizabeth fleetingly wonders where she’s gotten a hold of one. “Who are you supposed to be, then?”
Kate flourishes a bow, then flicks her hair over her shoulder. She grins. “’Sir Integra’, at your service.” At Elizabeth’s look of confusion, she adds, “One of the main characters of my favorite anime, Hellsing.”
A blue figure slides up to them. Grinning wickedly, she twirls, showing off her long tail. Elizabeth recognizes Miko. “’Neytiri’ from Avatar, right?”
Miko giggles. “Yes! My favorite movie,” she explains. Placing her hand on Elizabeth’s elbow, she points across the room. “Have you seen Jinto yet?”
Following Miko’s direction, she spots the boy and bursts out laughing. “Is that…?”
Miko nods vigorously, a wide grin on her face. “Yes! ‘Jason Vorhees’ from Friday the 13th.”
Glancing around the room, she asks, “Has John seen him yet?”
“Oh, yes. John helped him with it. Jinto was anxious to do this right, but didn’t know what to dress up as. He didn’t want to be a Wraith, he said. He remembered John telling all the children about that movie and … well, as you see,” Miko finished, looking pleased as punch.
Elizabeth smiles knowingly at the other woman. “I have a feeling you had a hand in that, too, didn’t you?”
“Oh, of course. I sewed the costume for them, but John figured out how to do the mask.”
Hours later, Elizabeth calls everyone’s attention. Votes for best costume have been cast, and now it’s time to announce the winners. Glancing at the card with the results, she smiles. “And the price for ‘best adult costume’ goes to Dr. Rodney McKay’s ‘Ironman’!”
Applause fills the hall, and John’s sharp whistle alongside Ronon’s, “Hell, yeah!” has everyone laughing. Rodney makes his way up to Elizabeth, and she hands him the small plaque that she had commissioned from one of the Athosians. “Congratulations, Rodney. Very impressive.”
For once, Rodney’s usual bluster is nowhere to be found. He’s taken his helmet off and looks more stunned and pleased than anything else. “Thank you.”
Nodding, she pats his arm, then turns her attention to the crowd once more. “And the winner of ‘best youth costume’ is none other than Jinto!”
Again, the hall erupts in cheers and applause as Jinto bounces over to her. His eyes are wide, and his smile nearly splits his face as she hands him a plaque similar to Rodney’s. “Congratulations, Jinto. You’ve earned it.”
“Thank you!” Jinto waves his prize in the air, much to everyone’s amusement, before running off toward Halling. The two share a private moment, and it’s clear to Elizabeth how pleased Halling is for his son.
Walking over to Kate, Elizabeth sighs, feeling tired and, for a wonder, quite content. “Thank you for suggesting this, Kate.”
“You’re welcome. Everyone needs to let loose every now and then. We should do this every year.”
Grinning, Elizabeth nods. “Barring emergencies, I think it’s safe to say this was our inaugural Halloween party. No doubt people will want to out-do Rodney and Jinto. I think the Athosians enjoyed themselves, too.”
Handing Elizabeth another glass of ghoul-cider, Kate raises her own glass. “To many more haunted Halloweens.”
“Hear, hear,” Elizabeth murmurs as she takes a sip. It’s certainly been a happy Halloween, but she’s glad the evening is almost over. Even if she is already planning what costume to wear next year.