Rose Tyler had a plan.
The plan centered around Christmas cookies, which she was baking now. Seeing as it was Christmas Eve, and the Doctor had already eaten nearly all the cookies she'd made a week before, it was a perfect plan.
She smirked at the thought of it. Well, he was never going to do it, the prat. She didn't know what was wrong with him. What in the Universe was he afraid of?
Though, normally, she wouldn't have done this, either. Not if Donna hadn't managed to get her to promise she would. She was too shy. Even doing this, now, there was a hint of fear.
Still, with fear came excitement, and that adrenaline rush was half of the reason she traveled with the Doctor.
The other half was the reason she was making Christmas cookies right now.
The Doctor came wandering into the kitchen, looking the very picture of innocence. Rose put her flour-covered hands on her hips. "Oh, get out, you!" she said, half- teasing, half- serious. She'd learned that whenever he had just that look on his face, it only meant trouble. "I want to bake these cookies, not have the dough all eaten before they get in the oven!"
"Cookies are too domestic for me, anyways," he pouted as he sulked away, looking rather dejected.
"Yeah, right," she muttered as she began putting dough on the tray. When she had only one spot left, in the corner with the huge piece broken off the rim, she glanced around for the Doctor and, when she didn't see him, slipped one hand slyly into the pocket of her apron.
If she was right — oh, God, please let her be right — this would be the greatest Christmas present ever.
The Doctor had a plan.
The plan centered around breakfast, namely, the breakfast he was making now. More specifically, those delicious, sticky, sweet cinnamon buns with the melty icing all over them. He knew for an absolute fact that Rose loved them. The morning after Christmas once, as he'd unfortunately missed the day itself, Jackie had made them. Rose had swiftly devoured two, and then taken great delight in licking the icing off her fingers. This had driven the Doctor mad, though he wasn't sure whether this had been intentional on Rose's part or not.
Anyways, it was Christmas morning, and he was making cinnamon buns. Rose hadn't even wken up yet, which was of course the point. If she'd woken up she wouldn't be in bed, and if she wasn't in bed than he couldn't bring her breakfast in bed very well, now, could he?
He smirked as he took something small and bright out of his pocket and stuck it in the middle of the dough he was rolling into a cinnamon bun.
In his head, he cheerfully cursed Jack Harkness for looping him into this. A contract! His own name, written in his own scribble on a bloody contract. He hated contracts, never signed them, at least not if he could help it, not even ones from UNIT. Well, especially not ones from UNIT. UNIT all carried guns, and he didn't much like people who carried guns. Well. Jenny had carried a gun, he'd liked her, but then, she was a bit like him, as well as being technically related to him, sort of.
How had Jack managed it anyways? Time Lords had superior physiology to stupid apes. Whatever Jack had mixed up must have been one hell of a drink.
Well, if he hadn't signed the contract then he would very well be here making Rose breakfast, would he? So, while he thought of every nasty word he could call or say to Jack, he at least did it optimistically.
If he was right — oh, Rassilon, he hoped he was right — this would be the greatest Christmas present ever.
Rose was awakened by the smell of cinnamon. She opened her eyes to see the Doctor standing at the foot of her bed, grinning. His hair was a mess and he had a plate of cinnamon buns in his hands. "Merry Christmas," he said.
She smiled sleepily up at him. "Aw, thank you, that's... sweet."
"Like these buns are," he added, setting the plate on her nightstand. "Eat! You need breakfast."
"Hold on," she said, and reached under the bed. "I've got a present for you." She emerged triumphantly with a jar of cookies in her hand. "Thought you might like these," she said.
He snatched up the cookies eagerly.
"You're welcome," she laughed, and began eating a bun.
At the exact same instant, they both gave a sharp cry of surprise and mild pain. Rose ripped the bun open and frowned to see something shiny inside it. The Doctor broke the cookie in half and his mouth fell open. Slowly, he raised his gaze to look at her, the silver ring held between his fingers.
Then he dropped everything, lunged forward, and kissed her.
After a moment, he pulled away, but didn't release her. "Yes," he breathed in her ear.
"'S what I thought," she murmured.
She didn't say anything else. Neither did he.
It didn't need saying.
The unmistakeable sound of a certain fiery redhead demanding to be let in echoed through the TARDIS to the room where Rose and the Doctor sat under a real Christmas tree with a real fire behind them. She looked at him. He looked at her. Both of them grinned and stood up to let their Christmas guests in.
They stumbled in, all laughing, all with real snow in their hair — a bloody miracle, the Doctor had proclaimed it earlier when he'd first seen it, a pure bloody miracle — and all thrilled to be in the TARDIS for Christmas. All of them had come, the biggest family in the universe: Jack, Donna, Martha, Sarah Jane, and even Mickey.
The biggest surprise however, at least for the Doctor, was the girl who bounded in a moment after Mickey, wearing black jeans and a ragged t-shirt, her blonde hair tied back in a ponytail and her eyes laughing.
"Jenny?" the Doctor asked. "But that's — impossible!"
"Torchwood found a spaceship crashed a mile outside Cardiff," Jack said, "with one class-A humanoid alien concussed and unconscious inside. She gave us an account of her life, death, and un-death, something about a terraforming device..."
"Terraforming!" roared the Doctor. "Oh, I'm such a bloody idiot —"
Jack chose that moment to say, "Christmas?"
"Oh, you haven't met Jenny!"
"You chose Christmas?"
"The Doctor's —"
"For what —?"
"— brilliant, you'll —"
"Of all days —"
"Daughter? What —"
"I don't —"
"Long story —"
"Oh my God, you are bloody brilliant!" screamed Donna, silencing everyone else.
"What did I do?" Rose asked bewildered.
"Christmas!" Donna exclaimed. "You chose bloody Christmas, that's so bloody fantastic I can't even begin to describe it!"
"What?" asked Jenny, confused. "What's going on?"
"That's what I'd like to know," said Mickey.
"I'll second that," Martha agreed.
Then Jenny's face lit up with mischeif. She whispered first to Martha and then to Mickey. Martha stared at the Doctor. Mickey stared at Rose.
Rose suddenly realized what the fuss was about and hid her hands behind her back. The Doctor shoved his hand in his pocket. And if everyone hadn't already noticed, that would have been a dead giveaway.
And right then, neither of them cared.