Christmas Present

By zeilfanaat

Category: Romance, Drama

Ratings: PG / K

Summary: Everyone at Westbury goes elsewhere or has plans for Christmas. Except for Nancy. When she tells Clint, he invites her to come with him to Montana, and she accepts.

Disclaimer: "DOC" does not belong to me. No infringement intended.

Spoilers: "You Say Goodbye and I Say Hello", "Get Me to Church On Time"

Archive: i2Eye Fan Fiction, fanfiction. net. If you want (me) to post it somewhere else, please ask first.

Challenge: Written for the 2007 Christmas Challenge of i2Eye Fan Fiction. Was voted to be Best Romance (other couple) (Clint/Nancy)! Thanks to all who voted!!

A/N: Time line is that of 2004, since I'm assuming everything up to the episode "Wake-Up Call" happened. After that, I haven't seen any episodes, so as far as I'm concerned, they haven't happened.
On another note, the first nine pages were written over the course of four weeks; the rest of the thirty-odd pages were written over three days. I've been editing as I posted in order to meet the challenge deadline, but more than likely there will still be spelling or grammar mistakes. Hope you'll forgive me. :)
And yes, it is sort of a Christmas story, but I think you don't have to be in the Christmas mood in order to read it. Of course, if you disagree, I'd love to know. Enjoy reading!

Finished: January 2008

Chapter 1

Wednesday, 22nd of December, 2004

The reception at Westbury clinic was busy. Patients needed to get their prescription updated, and all the backlogs in paperwork were to be handed in by the end of the week, in order to finish the year.

By the end of the week, because not many people wanted to work in between Christmas and New Year. Luckily, it was almost the end of the day, so the staff could take a breather. They did, and soon most of the staff was gathered in the coffee area.

Wearily, Nancy let herself flop into a chair, a filled coffee mug in front of her. Doctor Derek Hebert did the same in the other chair at the table, and Ms. DeWitt filled the thus far empty third chair. Doctor Oliver Crane had dragged himself to the coffee corner a few minutes earlier, and had situated himself at the opposite table. Tippy made herself some tea, and leaned back against the kitchen sink.

"Oof," Tippy said, to no one in particular. "Why is this period always so hectic?"

"Oh, no special reason, except that we have to end the financial year, start a new one, all the paperwork needs to be up-to-date, everyone wants to go into the holidays without the stress of having some stuff to do before New Year, only those kind of things," doctor Crane listed, but even his voice was not as cutting as it usually was. He just couldn't muster the energy. It was a tired group that was sitting there, staring at each other, wondering how they would ever end up at home. That's when they heard cheerful whistling, and soon doctor Clint Cassidy rounded the corner. At the sight of everyone hanging exhausted in their seats, he halted, and looked around at the faces. Each and every one of them was looking at him with a mix of exhaustion, distant curiosity, and disbelief.

"Did I miss something?" Clint asked, wondering if perhaps he had fallen asleep and was now experiencing a strange dream.

"Eh, eh, eh, just how come you're so… cheerful and awake?" Derek finally asked. Then it dawned on the Montana doctor. "Ah, so that's what's going on. The last miles of the year, and all everyone wants to do is to just be done with it, and go home. Right?"

"Yeah. The keyword being 'everyone'… so why aren't you?" Nancy asked, leaning forward, a bit more awake, now that there was a puzzle. Clint smiled. "Why would I be?"

"Well, I know for a fact that you still have paperwork to do, and you still have a couple of patients to see today…" Nancy started to list, and Tippy interjected, "And your schedule for the next two days is completely packed as well." Nancy made a gesture. "There you go."

Clint chuckled, and he moved over to the coffee pot, and poured himself a mug. He leaned against the counter, next to Tippy and looked at his fellow workers. "Now let's see. Most of the paperwork I did this morning; I'll only have to finish one more form, and the files of the patients I still have to see. Those I can do during the lunch breaks, and before my first patients in the morning. Basically the most intensive part will be to examine the patients, and that's the part of my job I like most."

He noticed there were still some sceptical looks directed his way, and he added, "Besides, I was just able to send Elise Senders home before Christmas."

"The girl with the removed appendix?" Nancy asked, brightening. Clint nodded. "That's the one."

"Ah, well, then it's no wonder you were whistling," Tippy said, scrunching up her nose and smiling, as she remembered how the girl had worried about not being able to be home for Christmas. Clint shrugged. "Even so, in three days time, it's Christmas."

Donna smiled. "You're right, doctor Cassidy. I'm quite looking forward to that day. Brian is actually feeling quite well, and we figured we'd take Emma to Walt Disney."

"Aw, that's such a nice thing to look forward to!" Tippy said. "For how long?"

"Oh," Donna said, waving it off, but smiling nonetheless. "Just for two days. But it will be nice seeing them again. How about you guys? Anything planned?"

Tippy blushed, and bit her lip. "Well, actually, Steven and I are going away for a couple of days. Sort of as a honeymoon, since we didn't have one when we married."

"Wow, Tippy! That's great!" Nancy exclaimed, and the others nodded and smiled as they remembered the rushed wedding. Clint and Nancy exchanged a look, remembering how they had been the only ones present, because the rest had been stuck in traffic. The wedding had unexpectedly moved up a couple of days since Steven had been suddenly deployed, and had had to leave within two hours. So, as the four people were still at the clinic, Clint had called in the help of the hospital preacher, and Nancy had helped Tippy prepare. Of course, Tippy being Tippy, when she had been about to throw the flowers over her shoulder, she'd tripped, and had accidentally thrown them in Clint's direction. The cowboy doctor had caught them, and given them to Nancy.

Their thoughts were interrupted by doctor Hebert's comment. "Nellie, Gracie and I are going to visit Nellie's parents. Oliver, what about you?" Derek asked.

"My wife's sister and family is coming over. Unlike most years, it will be a nightmare, since they are bringing their kids this time," Oliver answered, annoyed. "It will probably be reminiscent of the cattle of which doctor Cassidy is so fond."

Clint smiled, and shrugged, leaving the comment for what it was.

"Pray do tell, will you be visiting them, or are they visiting you, and should we evacuate New York?" doctor Crane asked.

"Don't you worry Oliver, your 'cattle' won't be mixing with mine. I'm goin' to Montana for a couple of days."

Crane glared at him and rose. "Well, I should get on with my work then, so I can make the most of our 'Cassidy-free' days." With those parting words, he stalked into his office, closing the door.

Derek sighed, and rose as well. "Much as I don't agree with his reason, I should also get back to work."

The others agreed, and walked off. During the conversation though, Clint had noticed that Nancy had been rather quiet, and he held her back.

"Hey Nance, hold on a minute." The nurse turned, and waited. "Are you doin' anything over Christmas?" Clint asked. Nancy shrugged. "Nothing much. Just hang out for a bit, go to the Christmas service in church, maybe grab a book." She tried to sound cheerful, but failed. Clint's eyebrows rose. "Aren't you going to do something with your Dad?"

"Nah, he's going to visit an old friend of his, who invited him over to Los Angeles." She shrugged. "I got the feeling he needs a little time for himself, without his daughter living a couple of streets away."

Clint frowned. "So you're alone over Christmas?"

"Well, I might just go and visit some people. Don't worry about it," she said with a smile which didn't quite reach her eyes. Immediately, Clint made a decision.

"Would you like to come with me to Montana? I'm sure Doc Johanson would enjoy seeing you again, and Dottie would love to meet you."

Nancy was a little taken aback. "No, I can't just suddenly come along. I've only met Doc Johanson once, and I've never even seen Dottie. I've never been there!"

"Exactly," Clint replied. "And one person more or less doesn't make much of a difference for us in Montana."

They'd started to slowly walk in the direction of Clint's office, and the country doctor gently prodded her with his elbow. "Come on, I'll show you where I grew up. Besides, you don't really want to sit alone with Christmas, now do you?"

"Are you sure?" Nancy checked hesitantly. Clint nodded, and a wide smile started to spread across Nancy's smile as she realised she would not only not spend Christmas alone, she would spend it with Clint and his family. "Alright! In that case, I'd love to come."

By now they had reached Clint's office, and they came to a halt.

"So, when are we leaving? How long did you intend to stay? Anything special I need to pack? How are we getting there?" The questions tumbled from Nancy's mouth before she could slow them down, but Clint chuckled.

"Friday, till Thursday, warm clothes, by plane, in that order I believe."

Nancy blushed and grinned, smacking him gently on the shoulder. "Alright cowboy. I'm looking forward to it."

"Me too," Clint agreed. With a parting smile, Nancy turned away, but she stopped short and turned around again. "Hey Clint?"

"Hmm?" He looked up.


He gave her an affectionate smile which made her feel all warm inside, and said, "You're very welcome."

That night, Clint sat down in the comfortable chair, and pulled his laptop on his lap.

'Dear Doc,

How're you doing?

I'm doing fine. Looking forward to coming back to Montana. It's been a while. About four-and-a-half years now.

Hope you don't mind; I invited Nancy to come along. She would have spent Christmas on her own, since her dad's out of town. I think it might just be the first Christmas she spends without her dad.

You know, I remember the first Christmas without my dad, when I just started living with you. I wanted to be alone to remember the Christmases with my Mom and Dad. Yet at the same time, I was trying to ignore it was Christmas, so the hurtin' wouldn't be so bad. I'm glad you didn't let me struggle through it on my own.

Well, I'd say, don't let Dottie worry about getting more food, but I know she will anyway. So give her a hug for me.

I'll see you both soon.


Doc Cassidy'

A/N: Hope you've enjoyed it so far.