A/N: Just a little Christmas story set in the same 'verse as 'Trick-or-Treat' and 'Thankful.' Prior knowledge of those stories is not necessary, but helpful. And with that, Merry Christmas!
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who or anything related.
"What do you mean it's a terrible idea? It's Christmas! Who doesn't want to go carolling at Christmas?" the Doctor asked in outrage. As she had been busy with the laundry, he had been suggesting various Christmas traditions for he and Rose to try this Christmas season, most of which she was all for. Christmas baking? She was all for it! Having Torchwood participate in a Secret Santa gift exchange? Great idea! Christmas carolling? She nixed the suggestion almost immediately.
"Come on, Rose. You have a lovely voice!"
She raised a single eyebrow. "Yeah, well it's fine for the shower, but I'm not about to give our neighbours a free concert."
"Don't be silly!" He snuck his arm around her as she continued folding their laundry. "It wouldn't be a concert! And it wouldn't be for our neighbours. It would be for your parents' neighbours!"
"Oh, well in that case," she responded sarcastically.
"Now, Rose, if you just hear me out, I've got it all planned! So, we get a group together to go carolling in your parents' neighbourhood, but the kicker is we take along a donation bucket!"
"A donation bucket?"
"Yep!" the Doctor exclaimed with a pop to the p. "See, your mum was telling me about that new charity she's involved in, the one that helps single mums living in poverty, and I thought it might be nice if we collect donations to help buy presents for all those kids who might not get any this year."
Rose moved aside the laundry basket and turned her body to face the Doctor head on. "What? Doctor, I..."
He smiled at her, brushing some hair behind her ear. "Who knows, maybe there's a little girl dying for a red bicycle."
"That's not playing fair," she told him, leaning her forehead against his.
"Now you know I can't say no."
The Doctor chuckled. "We don't have to go carolling if you really don't want to, Rose. I'm sure we can find another way to help the kids."
Rose leaned back to look in her fiancé's eyes. Ever since arriving in this universe, he had been very into the holidays. First with Halloween, then with wanting to celebrate Thanksgiving. It really shouldn't surprise her that he would want to go Christmas carolling this season. Moments like these were so important to him, and while she didn't always understand why at first, they always turned out for the best. "Nah. If you want to go carolling, we'll go carolling."
"Really!?" he asked, looking like a child who'd just been given a puppy.
She shrugged good-naturedly. "Sure. But if people throw fruitcakes at us because of the off-key singing, that's on you!"
"See, Rose! No, fruitcakes were thrown at us! Just given to us!"
Rose giggled as the Doctor sorted through the various treats that were given to them the previous evening. She had to admit, the carolling thing had been more successful than she'd originally thought. The group had been made up of herself and the Doctor, her parents (who both had surprisingly decent voices), her little brother (who definitely won them cute points), Jake Simmonds (who was a loud, booming baritone that was only slightly off-key), and a few other family friends from Torchwood and Vitex. Not only were they showered with various baked goods, but the donations for her mother's charity had been overwhelming. With the donations they received, they would be able to purchase everything on the wish lists for the kids who otherwise wouldn't get anything, and they also had enough to purchase some nice things for the mums as well. It had honestly surprised Rose just how excited people were about the idea of "Carolling for Charity." After various videos of them singing door to door began going viral on social media, Pete decided to make it an annual thing and perhaps even challenge other celebrities and people of influence to do the same. It made Rose proud to know that not only were they making a difference in people's lives, but that it was her fiancé, her Doctor, who spearheaded the whole thing.
"You look happy," he murmured, wrapping his arms around her from behind.
Rose leaned back in his embrace and hummed in agreement. "I am happy. We did a good thing last night, Doctor. It's nice, you know. To know that even though we're not in our original universe and we don't have a TARDIS, that we can still make a difference. Thank you for that."
"Oh, Rose." He nuzzled her neck. "I have to confess, that was the exact reason I wanted to do all this."
She turned to face him. "What do you mean?"
The Doctor sighed heavily. "It's just what you said. I guess I needed to know that even though I'm no longer a full Time Lord and I no longer have time and space at my fingertips, that I could still help people. That I could still be the Doctor."
"Please tell me you haven't been doubting yourself?"
"Not doubting, just... It's all an adjustment. You know?"
She smiled softly. "Oh, I know. But, Doctor, you've been so brilliant these past few months, and I need you to know how happy I am that you're here." She took his hand in hers and squeezed it. "I know all of this, taking the slow-path and being domestic, isn't where we pictured ourselves when we were travelling together in the other universe, but this life with you? I love it."
He pulled the joined hands up, and kissed the finger that held her engagement ring. "Me too," he replied happily.
"I'm glad," she told him. "Now how about we take a look at those lists my mum gave us and see what we can do about getting some Christmas presents to those kids, yeah?"
They split the tasks accordingly. The Doctor would read off each present from the wish lists and Rose would look up the best place to find those gifts and the price range they went for. Through the process the Doctor had kept up a steady stream of chatter, talking about each item the children wanted and it's origins. Only a few times had they encountered a wish for something they couldn't give, like health for their family, or a job for their mum (though the Doctor took note of each of those wishes to see if Pete could do something about that). They were about halfway through the lists when the Doctor suddenly went silent.
"Doctor, What is it? Something we can't get?"
A large grin graced his face as he shook his head. "No, no we can definitely get this gift."
"Well, out with it then!" she said with a laugh.
"This list is from a young girl, aged twelve years old. And at the top of her list? A bright blue bicycle," the Doctor announced in awe.
Happiness spread through Rose like a warm cuppa on a cold day. "Guess we better get back to work then, Father Christmas."