Degrees and the Doctor

Thanks for the reviews. I said it would be up on Christmas Eve and it is (and yes I am aware there's only 10 minutes of today remaining!). I really hope you've enjoyed reading this story- I've loved writing it! I will be writing more stories in February as I have exams next month, so look out for me then! All that's left to say is I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas and an amazing new year and if you're in the UK, enjoy 'The Runaway Bride!' I can't wait!

Disclaimer: Nothing you might recognise belongs to me

The Doctor leaned against the TARDIS console, staring unblinkingly as the light moved up and down in a slow, rhythmic pattern. Both of his companions were asleep, both in the large double bed in the room that the Doctor and Rose normally shared. Rose had managed to persuade him to let Jack stay near her over night as an added source of comfort to both of them. The Doctor sighed. The whole business hadn't ended as well as he'd hoped; what with Jen's death, which had cut up both his best friends, Jack in particular. He thought back to that fateful moment when they'd all realised the news back on the shuttle. After a shock filled five minutes, they'd carried Jen's body on board the TARDIS and, complete with Kall who'd followed them quite willingly, they'd flown back to the university in the TARDIS, towing the shuttle behind them.

After that once they'd arrived, Philip and Kall were ordered to tidy up the room that had been vandalised while the Doctor went out to search for Jont and Lavia, and Jack and Rose had sat silently in the control room, holding tightly onto one another as they tried to absorb the shock.

Once the Doctor had found Jont, told him the news and come back to the TARDIS, he'd sat with them, doing his best to comfort them, until a knock at the door aroused his attention. It had been Jont, along with a number of armed Piripians, who had come to take Kall and Philip away for questioning. Jont explained that Lavia was in her room with her parents, who had flown quickly in a shuttle to get there and he then thanked them for all their help in foiling the plot. And then, four of the guards had rounded up Kall and Philip, who had both gone quietly, and the remaining three had carefully taken Jen's body from the infirmary and then left.

The TARDIS was then once more empty, other than her three regular occupants, and very quiet. The Doctor had forced his friends to eat some dinner and made small talk with them before packing them off to bed to get some much needed sleep. And that was where they were now, leaving him alone in the control room. He sighed again and ran a hand through his hair, before pulling out his sonic screwdriver, retrieved from where Kall had left it. He pulled up the grate and dropped silently down underneath the control panel. He wasn't going to sleep tonight. He'd do some invisible repair work instead,

The lecture theatre looked empty although it wasn't really. All the students were present except for the four he knew the best. He tried to avoid looking at the obviously empty row half way up the right hand side column where Rose, Jen, Lavia and Kall usually sat.

The remaining students seemed to have sensed his mood as they were quiet and not their normal chatty selves, only really talking if he asked them a question or if they wanted to raise a point. As a result, it was almost a relief when the door crashed open and Rose rushed in straight towards him. He had left her lying in bed, along with Jack, both of them still asleep. The Doctor had got the impression that neither of them had slept very well if at all and had instead spent the night talking and crying with one another. It was the best way for them to get over it and as much as he wanted to be, he wasn't much help. They needed each other to help themselves through it, as they'd both known Jen a lot better than he had. That didn't mean he wasn't willing to lend an ear, or any other body part, if they wanted him to.

Rose threw herself into his arms, her face automatically hiding itself in his neck. He put his arms around her, holding her tightly as she shook, and murmured comforting words into her ear.

"Missed you when I woke up," she whispered, after a few moments,

"Sorry, I had to come and take this lecture," he said, softly, rubbing her back.

She raised her pale face to meet his eyes. "Doctor, when can we leave?"

"As soon as I'm finished here," he replied, "I said I'll just take this last one while the new lecturer is getting here and then we can go, I promise,"

"OK," she snuffled,

"Are you feeling any better?" he wanted to know.

She smiled weakly- her first smile since the incident. "I'm in your arms, aren't I?" she whispered, before laying her head on his chest, listening to his hearts beat.

He chuckled slightly and kissed the top of her head before raising his eyes to look at the mass of staring students in front of them.

"Doctor?" one of them asked, slowly.

He sighed. "Your new and permanent Physics lecturer is on their way and will be teaching you from now on," he stated, "As I will be leaving today, along with Rose."

Several gasps rang out from the students.

"Rose is… she's the love of my life," the Doctor admitted, "It's not a new thing nor is she sleeping with me to get good marks so you can get that stupid rumour out of your heads right now."

He glanced around and was pleased to see several of the aliens blush.

"By the way, who started that rumour?"

There was complete silence until:

"It was Kall," one of the female aliens who had sat behind Rose and whispered about her announced, "He started it. Where is he anyway and those other two?"

"They won't be back," replied the Doctor, heavily, his opinion of Kall lowering even further, "I can't tell you why as its confidential," he continued, seeing various intrigued and confused looks, "But rest assured, you probably won't be seeing any of them again."

He heard Rose give a little sob and he stroked her hair reassuringly. "Now, we've got to go. Thanks for being a good group of students and sorry for the disruption of having a new lecturer. You're all very bright and I'm sure you'll go far." He gently began to guide Rose out of the theatre before stopping again at the door and facing the students, a small smile playing at his lips, "Oh and by the way, I really am a Time Lord."

After a brief chat with Lavia's father, Jont and the vice principal of the university and some extremely quick packing up of three rooms, the Doctor pressed the final button on the console and the TARDIS began to dematerialise into the vortex, leaving the University of Mars in the year 4085 behind. His two best friends stood either side of him as they watched Jont, Lavia and her parents waving at them on the screen before they disappeared.

"I'll miss Jont," Jack said, "He was a really good mate,"

"We can go back and visit if you like," the Doctor offered.

Jack shook his head. "Too many memories," he decided, sadly.

Rose reached across the Doctor and took Jack's hand, squeezing it. "Where are we going now?" she asked.

The Doctor grinned and pushed a lever. "London, England, Christmas Eve 2009. Specifically a place called Powell Estate."

Rose shrieked and grabbed him in a hug. "Thank you!" she cried, happily,

"I did promise you," he replied, "C'mon you two; go get ready. It's time for turkey and presents and mince pies and mistletoe!"

Jack and Rose grinned at him before running off out of the control room. The Doctor sighed in satisfaction. Christmas would be just the thing to cheer them all up completely.

"Did you love her?"

Rose's question stopped Jack in his tracks and he swung round to face her, immediately knowing which 'her' she was referring to.

"No," he said, "I might have done if we'd been in a longer relationship but… I dunno. I'll never know either," he added bitterly.

Rose bit her lip and grabbed him around the waist in a hug. She'd never seen Jack so down in all their travels together.

"Why'd Jen have to die? Why couldn't Kall have been the one? He was truly evil; Jen was only there to help her planet!" he complained,

"Death would have been too good for Kall," Rose said, wisely, "He deserves what he gets." She stopped and took his hand and then leant up to kiss him on the cheek. "Now, c'mon, we've got Christmas to celebrate along with my Mum and hopefully my friends… including Matt…"

Jack grinned, his mood changing instantly. "I'll go find the mistletoe then…"

The TARDIS trio quietly stopped in front of Jackie's flat, grinned at each other and with a signal from the Doctor, they began to sing together:

"We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year…"

The door opened.

"Here, none of that!" Jackie scolded, "I don't do…" Her eyes widened as she saw who it was. "Rose! she gasped, drawing her daughter into a hug,

"Hi Mum!" Rose laughed, hugging her mother back equally as tightly, "You alright?"

"I'm fine now!" Jackie beamed, letting go of Rose and then hugging the Doctor and Jack. Both looked rather dishevelled and scared when she let go, "I was hoping you'd be back for Christmas!"

She led the way in and the guys collapsed in the living room which Rose watched in amusement.

"Hey, we should have a party!" Jackie said, her eyes lighting up, "All your friends have been round to see if you're back yet and it would be nice for you to catch up with them,"

"Sounds great," enthused Rose, "Let's have it tonight. I'll give them a ring!"

"Alright, I'll need someone to come along to the shops with me to help carry the shopping. Jack, will you come?" asked Jackie,

"Sure," he replied, "See you two lovebirds later."

They disappeared out of the door after collecting what they needed. The Doctor turned to Rose.

"Come here, you," he smiled.

She ran over to him and he swept her up in his arms, pulling her head towards his and then kissing her passionately.

"I love you so much," he murmured, when they finally drew apart, "And I'm so sorry for what you've been through this past few weeks,"

"It wasn't all bad," Rose grinned, "It was fun at some times, especially in that tutorial last Wednesday even though it did cause trouble afterwards,"

"I can't believe you did that to me," the Doctor chuckled, before capturing her lips once more.

Rose smiled cheekily and nuzzled his nose with hers. "I suppose I better go and call my friends. Get ready for lots of squealing, chatting and fun; this is gonna be great!"

The next few hours flew by. Rose contacted her three best friends and chatted with them, along with inviting them to the party. After she'd been on the phone for half an hour, the Doctor decided that it had been long enough and crept up behind her and began kissing her neck. Rose squeaked.

"No sorry, I just hurt myself…" she hastily said, leaning back against the Doctor, "I better go anyway; I can hear Mum at the door… See you at eight!"

She hung up on Kirsty and grabbed the Doctor's hands from around her waist. "It's nice to be able to kiss in public again," she mused, tilting her neck so the Doctor could access more of it,

"Yeah," he agreed, in between kisses, "That's one of the things I missed the most. Means I have to kiss you more now to make up for it."

Rose grinned. "Suits me!"

Jack and Jackie interrupted their snog-a-thon a while later by arriving home, weighed down with tons of shopping. The Doctor and Rose instantly ran to help and spent the rest of the afternoon in the flat preparing for the party for making food and adding additional decorations to what had already been put up.

At last eight o'clock rolled by and the doorbell rang. Rose sprinted to the door and pulled it open.

"Hey guys!" she shrieked in excitement,

"Hi Rose," Lauren, Matt and Kirsty chorused, "Good to see you,"

"We missed you!" Lauren said, hugging her,

"I missed you too," Rose said, "C'mon in."

She pulled her friends into the living room where Jack, Jackie, the Doctor and some of Jackie's friends and family waited. They made the introductions quickly and then Jackie put a CD of Christmas songs on the stereo and the party started in earnest.

Rose had a fantastic time; catching up with her college friends, which took most of her time, in between dancing with everyone in the room and catching the Doctor numerous times under the mistletoe. She even caught Jack under it and they shared a friendly kiss. The Doctor didn't mind as he knew all their relationship would ever be was platonic. Rose's heart belonged to only the Doctor.

A few hours later, Rose glanced around the room. Her Mum was dancing with Lee from downstairs, her face slightly red from the alcohol she had consumed, Kirsty and Lauren were flirting with some young men who lived a couple of doors down (Rose didn't have the heart to tell them that the guys were gay) and Jack and Matt were getting on like a house on fire over in a corner of the room. She was pleased to see Jack joking and laughing and thoroughly enjoying himself again. The only person missing was the Doctor.

Rose slipped down the hallway and out of the front door where she discovered him on the balcony gazing up at the clear night sky. She silently went and stood next to him and his arm fell over her shoulders, drawing her closer to his side.

"Where are we going next?" she asked after a while, breaking the comfortable silence,

"We'll stay here a few more days and then see where the TARDIS takes us," the Doctor answered, "That sound alright?"

"Yep," she replied, breathing in the cold night air, "Sounds perfect."

Suddenly, the peaceful night was interrupted by the sound of bells ringing from the nearby church. Rose glanced at her watch and smiled. It had just gone midnight.

"It's Christmas Day," she announced, happily,

The Doctor smiled back at her, his brown eyes full of love, "Happy Christmas, my angel."

Rose leant up and kissed him sweetly.

"Merry Christmas, my Doctor."

And Merry Christmas from me too!

Review please. Constructive criticism is gladly received