Note: Happy holidays, all! I'm writing some fluff-filled holiday oneshots featuring the canon couples of FoMT. So grab your cocoa and prepare for an onslaught of cutesy fluff.
First up is Doctor x Elli. Merry Christmas, Rhianwen.
Disclaimer: Oh, and in case you forgot, I don't own it. I swear on a Christmas wreath and a handful of jingle bells that I don't.
"Stu, I told you, not yet."
The boy whined, his eyes fixed on a plate of freshly baked gingerbread cookies. They'd been temptingly placed on a thin metal tray, sitting just within the boy's limited reach. The tantalizing smell of the goods caused his hand to inch further and further towards the cookies before being halted again by the loud cry of, "Stu!"
"But I can't wait," he moaned. "Grandma would let me have some if I'd asked her."
"Grandma would not, and you know it," his sister chided him, hands on her hips. "We're waiting until they've cooled. You might burn your tongue!"
"I would not!" Stu insisted, his little hands turning into fists. "Please, Elli!"
But even the adorable little pout drawn onto his face couldn't convince the brunette to change her mind. Placing the tray of forbidden treats on a high shelf, she said, "Why don't you have something healthy while you wait? Like an apple, or maybe some celery—"
"But I want cookies!" Stu wailed. "Elli, you're being so mean."
Before the nurse could respond to her brother's complaints, a light tapping on the door sounded. Both thankful for some interruption in this sibling conflict and curious as to who would show up so early in the afternoon, Elli made her way to the door and opened it.
"Hello—" Her greeting broke off as she recognized the figure in the doorway. Dressed in a sophisticated white coat complete with a warm red scarf, the doctor smiled at the flour-covered nurse. "D-doctor?"
"I hope I'm not intruding," he began, seeing Stu attempt to climb onto the counter, the boy's fingers groping for the plate high above.
"Oh, no, not at all," Elli assured him, opening the door wide. "Please, come in."
He did so, his boots tracking snow onto the rug. Stu had done the same thing last week and been sorely lectured for it, but now the nurse hardly seemed to notice this small transgression. She was about to pull out a chair for the doctor, but seeing her brother's antics, exclaimed, "Stu, get down from there this instant!"
His plans foiled, Stu was hoisted off the counter and brought down onto the floor with an assortment of "How could you!"s and "That's dangerous, Stu!"s. The doctor watched on in amusement, trying to muffle his laughter with his scarf. Something about Elli's frantic manner and flushed cheeks made him smile to no end, and he wasn't sure how the nurse would react to his chuckling.
"I never have any fun…" Stu complained, dragging his feet along as he left for the stairs.
"If children don't have any fun, then there's no hope for the rest of us," the doctor smiled, this time comfortable with laughing aloud.
With a little groan, a very stressed Elli ran her fingers through her short hair, and said, "I'm sorry, Doctor…he can be a handful sometimes, and—why are you here, anyway?"
"You didn't know?" The surprise in his voice was eminent as he continued, "Your grandmother invited me to spend the holidays with her family."
For a sweet little old lady, Ellen could be just as troublesome as Stu sometimes.
"O-oh…she forgot to tell me," Elli explained, panicking again. The house was a wreck, her clothes were thoroughly dirtied from cookie-baking, and she hadn't planned for this at all.
She shook her head and took the seat across from him. "It's just…unexpected, is all."
"If I'm intruding, I'll leave—"
"You're not intruding," Elli insisted. "I'm happy you're here, really. I just wish I'd been told sooner."
"I see," he nodded. "And…what would you have done if you had been told in advance?"
She wiped her hands on her apron, sending flour onto the floor. "Well, for one thing, I'd have changed out of this messy apron into something more suitable," she smiled.
"Really? I think it's cute."
His casual comment caused the flustered nurse's face to turn red. In an attempt to alleviate her awkwardness, she murmured, "I, uh…thank you. Your scarf is n-nice, too. Handsome, I mean."
"Do you think so?" His hands went to it instinctively, and fingering the soft material, laughed. "It's funny you should say that."
"You made it for me last Christmas."
If Elli had been embarrassed before, she was positively mortified now. "I did? Oh, I did! You still…have it?"
"Of course," he answered. "You made it for me all by yourself; I wouldn't dream of losing it."
She bit her lip, averting her eyes away from the handsome man sitting across from her. He waited patiently as she wrung her hands, wrestling with what to say. When she didn't say anything, he asked, "Did I say something wrong?"
"Of course not, Doctor--!"
She blinked at him in confusion, and he replied, "Tim. You can call me that, you know… We're not at work now."
The brunette nodded, murmuring, "No, we're not." And yet, there was something infinitely more intimidating about seeing her boss in her own home. Wearing her scarf, sitting in at her table, taking off his ratty old gloves—
He gave her a reproachful stare, and blushing, she corrected herself, "Tim. Those gloves—how long have you had them?"
The man shrugged, peeling them off his hands and stuffing them into his coat pocket. "A few years, I suspect. They've been well worn."
"There's no way those shabby gloves can keep your hands warm," Elli chided him, her voice taking on a tone she usually reserved for lecturing Stu.
"Elli, it's fine—"
"Give me your hands," she ordered him, and with a sigh, the doctor complied. He said nothing as her sticky icing-smeared fingers wrapped around his own. Elli shivered as cold tremors made their way from his hands to hers, warmth spreading from her hands into his chilled ones. "They're like ice," she exclaimed, holding them tighter.
"I manage," he assured her, beginning to let go but unable to in her strong grip.
"Doc—Tim, you can't abuse your hands like this," Elli admonished him. "As your nurse, I can't allow it."
He chuckled, and she insisted, "I'm serious, Tim! This won't do at all…"
"Well then, Dr. Elli, what would you prescribe?" he teased her gently.
Elli thought for a moment, her brow furrowing in concentration. Then, biting her lip, she asked, "What do you think about…getting a late holiday gift?"
He stared at her, and she continued, "I could always…make you some mittens to match your scarf. And that way, your hands wouldn't be so cold. Would you mind, Tim?"
"Not at all," he smiled. "I'd rather like it, actually."
Elli started to pull back her hands, when to her surprise the doctor wouldn't let go. Sighing, he slowly let his fingers untangle themselves from her own. As much as he'd love to wear her handmade mittens, somehow he loved holding her hands even more.
She turned to him, and standing up, he admitted, "I haven't given you a gift yet."
"Oh, that's fine," Elli assured him. "I don't really need anything, it's no trouble—"
But her protests were silenced by a pair of lips brushing against her own as the doctor held her close. Though simple, innocent, and fleeting, the kiss was enough to turn both their faces a faint shade of pink. Leaning over, the doctor whispered in her ear, "Merry Christmas, Elli."
The moment was shattered when the loud crash of a tray clattering against the floor reached their ears. Bits and pieces of gingerbread flew everywhere as a triumphant Stu knocked the goodies down with a broom, some cocoa mugs and an empty cookie jar crashing down in the process.
Elli stared at the mess for a moment—a big, disastrous, icing-filled mess that would take at least an hour or two to clean. Not to mention all the baking she'd have to do again. And the shopping for the ingredients for the baking. And the lecture she'd have to give Stu about eating food off the floor.
But as she embraced the doctor one more time, Elli realized that at the moment, she really could care less.