AN: I thought adding an extra chapter to this story would make an appropriate Christmas gift. I hope you enjoy.
Chapter 13: London, England, 2013
Christmas miracles. If you'd asked Rose Tyler if she believed in them when she was child, she'd have said yes and proudly shown you her brand new red bicycle.
If you asked again when she was a teenager, she'd have said no and told you none too politely to get your head out of the clouds and start living in the real world.
At nineteen she'd have told you she believed in things that looked liked miracles but could be explained with advanced science or alien technology. You'd have called her crazy. Shows what you know.
Now, at twenty four, if you walked up to Rose Tyler as she stands, giving her mother and little brother a crushing hug, and asked if she believed, she'd answer with an emphatic yes.
You see, miracles mean different things to different people. It could be a cure for a sickness or relief of money problems. For some it's snow on the 24th or the roast finishing just in time as the guests arrive. It can be the chance to move out on your own, or the opportunity you thought you'd never have to come back home.
Rose releases her mother and waits for Jackie to do the same. Still attached to her leg is Henrick, a year older than when she last saw him and growing up so fast. He could hardly crawl when she left and now he's running all over.
Next to her the Doctor yelps and tries to squirm away as Jackie hugs him tight, thanking him profusely and peppering his cheeks with kisses because she never thought she'd get this chance. None of them did.
One year ago to the day the Doctor did the impossible and found his way back to one Rose Tyler. It wasn't supposed to be possible. It would have destroyed two worlds if it was. Yet, on that one day the gap was just wide enough, conditions just right enough, and fate just kind enough, to let him through.
Yes, I'm talking about those Christmas miracles again.
The Doctor has some scientific explanation involving the alignment of planets and moons and static electricity. They all had to be just right, and the timing perfect. Accuracy wasn't something he was particularly known for, so even if it was just a matter of the right conditions, his pulling it off is a miracle within itself.
The problem with miracles is that they're usually a one time thing or, if reoccurring, they don't last long, like Cinderella and her pumpkin carriage. Such was the case here.
Twenty-four hours and the gap would close. If the Doctor was still on the wrong side, the balance would be thrown and their little miracle would turn into a disaster right quick. That left Rose and her family little time to make a hard decision. Would she leave her family?
Obviously, if you go by what we've seen so far, she went. And to be honest, the decision wasn't all that hard to come to. She'd made her decision a long time ago, and given the choice, Rose would never leave the Doctor.
Pete comes out to see what all the ruckus is. His shock is evident, but it's quickly hidden in a warm smile as he envelops his daughter in his arms and holds her tight. He tells her how much they've missed her and Rose tells him the same. They both mean it more than they could have ever imagined.
It's after their embrace that Rose realizes that she and the Doctor have essentially crashed the Tyler family Christmas party and a few guests are staring at them through the window. The Doctor smiles because crashing parties is something they seem to do quite often, and she laughs because she realizes the same.
They join the party as Rose Tyler and her plus one, and everyone wants to know about this new man who's clearly staked his claim on the perpetually single Vitex heiress.
She lies and calls him 'just a friend.' She half truths when she says they work together. It's all honesty when she answers the question of 'where have you been?' with 'saving the world.'
When everyone asks when she'll be back again she tells them she doesn't know.
It may be never.
As I said, most miracles happen only once. A one time deal, the consequences and what happens next are left in the hands of those involved.
But I also said it wasn't a miracle that opened the gap. As for the whole Christmas bit, that's merely coincidence, although the Doctor reasoned that over time the whole static electricity alignment bit will shift a bit and within one hundred years they'll be visiting for New Years.
He doesn't bother mentioning the fact that he'd be the only one around by then. Or that he still plans to make the trip anyway.
When the party runs down, Jackie asks the questions she's been holding back for the sake of their guests and her eye liner. When Rose's tells her how fleeting their visit will be, and that it will be another year (assuming the same circumstances are there again, because it's all a delicate balance that could very well be lost and never reestablished again) before they can come back, they both cry.
Hey eye liner and mascara do run, and Rose's does as well. Henrick stares at them with confusion, then throws a bundles of wrapping paper in their faces, voicing a loud "Bwah!" That innocent exclamation is all it takes for them to abandon the melancholy and get back to enjoying their time together.
Pete and the Doctor settle in the library for a light chat. Pete slips in added questions that a father is supposed to ask. The Doctor pretends not to notice and smiles as he gives him the answers he wants to hear, regardless of the truth. Rose is safe (most of the time). Rose is happy (except for the times when she's not. Holidays and birthdays and little reminders of home and family pop up now and again). They're happy together (Pete's really asking if they're sleeping with each other, but the Doctor's not about to answer that one).
Across the house in the kitchen, Jackie is questioning Rose in much the same way. She's having the time of her life. Of course she misses everyone. Things are great with the Doctor, and yes, they're sleeping together.
Rose knows better than to bother lying to her mother.
Mickey gets there as fast as he can as soon as he's heard the news. That he makes it there at all is impressive, since he was in Cardiff when he heard and the majority of zeppelins aren't flying tonight.
He holds Rose like he'll never see her again (something he's learned to do since meeting the Doctor). She does the same and kisses him for good measure. It's a habit that she never quite broke out of but he doesn't mind and they both know it's out of a love and affection they never lost and hope they never do.
Once the greetings and hugs and parties and cleaning is all out of the way they all seem to realize simultaneously that they haven't got any gifts to give each other. It's not entirely true. The Doctor and Rose have a whole hoard of presents waiting in the TARDIS, but they can't bear to make their hosts feel any worse about it.
They talk and pick at leftovers and drink tea and cocoa until Henrick gets far too cranky and Jackie leaves to put him to bed and falls asleep herself. Rose is the next to nod off. Seated on the couch, wedged between the Doctor and Mickey, she's eventually laid across them, curled up on the Doctor's lap with her legs stretched across those of her dearest friend. Pete takes that as his cue to head off and Mickey retires to a guest room soon after, leaving the Doctor alone.
I could tell you that the Doctor stayed there for the rest of the night, staring at the crackling fire and pondering the complexities of family, love and relationships. Domestics, however, is not his thing.
Even before Mickey had reached the second floor he was up, laying Rose down carefully on the couch and slipping out the door. Rose falling asleep wasn't part of the plan, but it merely means an extra trip or two from the TARDIS and he doesn't mind. The stack of presents they planned to place under the tree can be a surprise for her now as well.
He runs across the lawn, his breath visible in the air. The snow crunches beneath his trainers, so loud he worries it will wake everyone. Rose was right, he realizes as he opens the TARDIS door. They always have snow here for Christmas.
Alien fabrics and jewelry for Jackie. A stationary set including a pen with never-ending ink for Pete. Toys from a dozen different planets for Henrick and a Playstation 6 for Mickey.
There are photos as well. Without the time and opportunity to tell her stories, Rose picked up the habit of carrying a camera with her. Every planet they've been to and every adventure they've had is catalogued in a messy collection of photo albums, scrapbooks and journals. Her legacy, she calls them. Twenty-four hours will never be enough time to express a years worth of journeys. She knows that simply being there is the best Christmas gift she could give to her family. The photos are merely there to fill their place until next year.
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