I have not yet taken over Doctor Who. The BBC still owns it. For now...


When Sam finally finished weeping the Doctor disengaged himself from the tight hug she had wrapped him in and closed the Tardis doors against the battlefield outside. "So how 'bout it?" he asked her gently. "Up for a visit home? Your family would like to see you, I'm sure. Two things that definately go together, you know. Christmas and family."

Sam looked up at him, her eyes still red-rimmed from crying. "Yeah," she said, rubbing a hand across her watery eyes. "Yeah, that'd... be good. Thanks Doctor." She got up slowly and finished wiping her eyes as the Doctor half-danced around the Tardis console, trying to hit all the right switches and pull the right levers. The time rotor in the centre of the console began to move and soon the Tardis was flying through the vortex.

"Y'know," the Doctor said, looking over at Sam who'd gone quiet and was wearing a somewhat guilty expression, "it's not a crime to look forward to Christmas." Sam nodded, but still stayed silent and pale, so the Doctor tried again. "They wouldn't want you to feel guilty Sam, they loved you. Skipping Christmas won't make you feel any better. I know you don't think so, but it would only make it hurt more."

Sam stared at him, her mouth open in shock. "How did you. . . I didn't. . . how?" she managed to choke out, before she had to stop and swallow in an attempt to stop anymore tears from falling. It didn't work and once again her eyes spilled over. She sat silently, the salty water trickling down her face.

The Doctor put a hand on her shoulder and said quietly "Because I know you Sam. The more something bothers you, the more afraid or sad you are, the more you make light of it. And like I said, Christmas and family go together. You wouldn't be human if the holiday didn't make you think about them, a little, at the very least."

The teenager swallowed again, this time managing to contain the tears that were threatening to spill down her face. "I. . . I miss them" she said in a rush. "I just. . . miss them. We used to. . . to have such a good time at Christmas. A big row every year o' course. But we . . . we always sorted it out, y'know? And then we'd all be happy. For a few days every year there'd be no arguments in the house. And now . . . now there's no one to, well, to not have arguments with. I mean, there is, I've got my brothers and Uncle Harry and all, but, it's not the same. It'll . . . never be the same."

"No," the Doctor agreed, "it won't. But that doesn't mean you have to feel guilty about enjoying yourself. Having a Christmas without some of the people you love hurts, believe me I know that. But not having it at all, because you think it hurts too much, that's worse. You end up feeling lonelier than ever. And you Sam, you're not alone. You have your older brothers. They might drive you crazy, but they care about you. You have your Uncle Harry too, he's one of the best men I've ever met. An excellent example of the human race. And they, they have you. You don't realise how lucky that makes them."

The Doctor handed Sam a tissue and jumped back up to poke at the control console. "Now come on," he said, a grin back on his face, "let's give your family a Christmas surprise eh?"

Sam managed a watery grin back. "Yeah, let's." Then, with a much stronger grin she added "You know Doctor, you forgot someone else I've got."

The Tardis juddered to a halt and the Doctor turned back towards his friend with a pleased look on his face. "Oh yes" he said, "and who's that?"

Sam gave him her sweetest smile. "A skinny, rude, hyperactive alien with no fashion sense and far too much fascination with hair gel" she said. "Come on, Christmas awaits!" And she bounded out the Tardis doors.

The Doctor rolled his eyes. "Well at least I know she's feeling better, if she's being that snarky with me." he muttered to himself, following her out of the Tardis.

Later, when various presents had been opened and Christmas dinners had been eaten, Sam sat with a new book, curled up in her favourite armchair in the Tardis library. The room was brightly lit now. Her brothers were excitedly exploring the huge room, as they were currently prohibited from going anywhere else in the Tardis.

Even so, the one room still had them gazing in awe, and occasionally they threw embarrased, curious glances at the Doctor, who to them, might as well have stepped out of a storybook. Opposite her on a huge sofa, the Doctor and her Uncle Harry were reminiscing about old times, or at least, Uncle Harry was reminiscing and the Doctor made vague agreeable noises while holding the ice-pack to his jaw and hoping the swelling would go down.

Sam's oldest brother Stephen caught the Doctor's eye and gave the Time Lord his thousandth apologetic look. The girl herself grinned inwardly. It had been vastly amusing to see her baking-enthusiast brother gesture excitedly with a rolling pin. Especially when he'd accidentally caught the Doctor a clap on the jaw and the time lord had produced a sound Sam had thought was only available to cats.

She looked around the room, seeing her family and friend excited, happy and safe. This she decided, was a good Christmas. Not a perfect one, there wouldn't ever be another perfect Christmas. But that didn't stop this one being good. And it didn't stop her from being happy. The Doctor had been right, Sam realised. Bloody irritating alien twat.


Thus ends my Christmas story. Press the review button. Ppprress iiitt!