Author's Note: Written for Doyle_sb4 on livejournal. Happy (belated) Holidays! This is my first time writing lots of Jackie. She is AWESOME.
How Jackie Tyler Saved Christmas (And Will Never Let Anyone Forget About It)
By Everything is Magic
Jackie Tyler went all out at Christmas time. Perhaps it was her years living Estate Life, where she didn't have the luxury of being able to afford going 'all out,' but the Tyler mansion had become the neighborhood's most well-decorated house ever since (the second) Jackie Tyler had moved in. Pete bore it, amused by his wife's joi de vivre over the holiday season.
And come Christmas morning, the Doctor wasn't much better. Rose was unsurprised by Tony's excitement on Christmas morning. He'd surely be hopping out of bed, sitting by the tree, and practically vibrating in eagerness of what was inside the shiny packages. What she wasn't used to, and certainly hadn't anticipated, was the Doctor slipping out of bed and joining him. She'd groggily registered him slipping out of her arms, throwing on a pair of squeaky slippers, and leaving the bedroom. But the Doctor was an early riser, so this did not seem to be an unusual occurrence.
It was only when she padded down to the living room, rubbing her bleary eyes as she descended the stairs, that she realized just what the Doctor had been up to. He sat beside the tree, Tony sitting next to him. They were shaking the boxes.
The Doctor looked positively giddy as he handed Tony another box, after giving it a quick rattle himself. He told Tony he thought it might be a set of pots and pans. Tony was aghast at this, as there was no way Santa would bring him something so dull. "Label says it's for your Mum, not you," the Doctor pointed out. Tony sighed in relief.
"Oi, you two!" Rose interrupted, attempting to stifle laughter. "I had no idea my fiancé was actually eight years old, yeah?"
"Rose!" The Doctor bounced up, his slippers squeaking as he did so. "Happy Christmas."
"Happy Christmas Doctor." She leaned forward and gave him a quick kiss. Behind them, Tony groaned as if he had just been privy to the most disgusting thing in the universe. "Now um… shakin' the Christmas presents? Knowin' you, I bet you can figure out what they all are just by shaking 'em?"
"'Course I can! It's quite easy if you figure in the approximate mass and velocity in which…"
"I didn't shake my own!" He defended.
Rose rolled her eyes and smiled at him. "All right then, Santa's little helper. Mum and Dad are up already, they'll be down in a minute." She took a seat on one of the couches, the Doctor sitting down next to and leaning into her. They both watched as Tony kept shaking his presents, then started sucking on a candy cane he'd pulled out of his stocking. The Doctor eyed the candy cane. "Mum'll have a big breakfast for us after we open presents," she told him, "but if you're hungry, I could at least get us some toast and tea to tide you over."
"I'll take care of that Rose," a voice piped in from behind them. Jackie Tyler stood at the bottom of the stairs, all velour pink pajamas and morning hair pulled up into a quick ponytail. "No one here makes a good tea quicker and better than me, so it'll just be a few."
Pete descended a few minutes after Jackie had rushed to the kitchen. "Morning Rose, Doctor. Happy Christmas."
"Happy Christmas Dad."
"Happy Christmas Pete."
Pete walked over to the tree and picked up Tony, who writhed for a moment before settling in on his father's lap. "Jackie's got the camera, just as a heads up."
Rose nodded. "Right, so no matter how tired you are, try to look a little alive. Nothin' is worse than looking back at Mum's old pictures and thinking you look like a zombie."
The Doctor grinned. "Oh I'm wide awake."
"Course you are." She yawned and tapped him on the nose.
"My first traditional Earth Christmas morning? Wouldn't miss it for anything."
"Well you'd better not let anything weird happen," Jackie piped in, emerging from the kitchen with a tray. "Last thing we need is an urgent call to Torchwood or our Christmas tree trying to murder us again." She cast a wary look at their very large Christmas tree, which reached almost to the ceiling of the mansion.
"Ah no. I'm sure it'll be fine." The Doctor took a cup of tea. "I mean I've had plenty of uneventful Christmases, really."
Rose stifled laughter and Jackie rolled her eyes. "Right then. Tony gets to open the first present. We go youngest to oldest." She paused. "Or would that mean the Doctor gets to go first…"
"Wouldn't he go last?" Pete queried. "He's the oldest."
"But he's also the youngest."
"We'll put him in the middle," Rose compromised. "He looks like he's older than me but younger than you two, plus averaging the two out would put him in the middle, yeah?"
The Doctor was smirking at this exchange, bemused by the debate. "Brilliant, Rose. I agree with Rose. She always has the best ideas of you all, am I right? Course I am."
"Fine, whatever. Let's get this started. Tony is getting impatient," Jackie agreed.
Tony had more presents than everyone else, as toys and children's clothes were cheaper than gifts for adults. As such, they had him open two each time around. He got a plethora of toys for his playroom, a new game system, and some clothing from his parents. Rose got him a bedsheet and comforter set featuring the talking automobiles from his favorite film. Tony was giddiest about the gift the Doctor had chosen for him, a remote control truck that the Doctor had purchased and then souped up with some impressive technology. Jackie made him promise it was safe, and that it wouldn't blow up his playroom or something equally disastrous. Rose opened several gift certificates from her parents, a new MP3 player, and a pricey new coat she'd been eyeing from her favorite shop. The Doctor got a new brown coat, two pairs of boxers (one covered in bananas and one covered in the heads of stereotypical looking little green men), and a very nice new cellphone, as Pete had insisted he should have one as a member of Torchwood. When Tony opened his last two gifts, that left just four presents under the tree.
"Oh two of those are for Rosie," Jackie explained. They'd decided, in order to avoid embarrassing confusion, to call the dog Rosie instead of Rose. "But we'll have doggie Christmas later on. She's upstairs fast asleep."
"Right then, that leaves two presents." Rose smiled at the man sitting next to her.
"And if I'm not mistaken, they are, quite oddly, mine to you and yours to me," the Doctor finished, snatching the two gifts. "Oooh, mine is heavy."
He placed her gift to him on the floor, gave her his gift and put his arm around her; she leaned into him and toyed with the ribbon wrapped around it. "Should we leave you two alone then?" Jackie quipped.
"Nah, we're quite all right… let's get these…"
The Doctor was interrupted by a most unceremonious crash. The house shook with the magnitude of a very small earthquake, and Jackie's mug of tea fell to the floor and shattered.
"What the bloody hell was that?" Shrieked Jackie, storming over to the window. She angrily pushed open the blinds and cursed. "Thought you said it would be fine, Doctor."
"Oi! You act as if I invite these things."
"Quiet you two!" Rose and Pete cut in at the same time. Tony, the Doctor, Pete, and Rose approached the window and stood next to Jackie.
"That," the Doctor began as he surveyed what had landed in their front lawn, "is a Tantrehdrian Space Cruiser." It was a sleek ship, almost cylindrical, and made of shining metal. The metal was unique though, in that it reflected a complete spectrum of colors. "Beautiful isn't it."
Rose was smiling. Like the Doctor, she'd come to find alien encounters quite exciting.
"Can you tell me why it's on our front lawn!?"
"Blimey Jackie, this is interesting. Because you see…" He seemed to relish what he was about to say. "I know exactly why it's here. You see Tantrehds are attracted to very bright and shiny things. Lots of bright colors, lots of shiny lights. Why do you think they've dropped in here? Hmm…"
Pete stifled laughter, in spite of himself. "You're saying Jackie's Christmas decorations and lights are what drew it here?"
"Oh I'd say that's exactly what happened. It happened to be in the general neighborhood, and this house stuck right out."
"I'll have you know, I spent forever setting up those decorations. I won't have some alien spoiling that!" Jackie placed her hands on her hips and glared daggers at the Doctor. "Not that alien out there and not the one in here either."
"Mum, Mum, calm down." Rose placed her hand on her mother's shoulder. "The Doctor and I'll go outside and see what's up, all right?"
"As if I'm not coming with you. No alien sets out to ruin Christmas morning without hearing from Jackie Tyler!"
"Oh I've no doubt that'll scare them off," the Doctor murmured under his breath.
She headed toward the door, and the Doctor, Rose, and Pete followed. Tony trailed behind, but Pete sent him back, much to the little boy's dismay.
"Tantrehdrian dasmek tori quei?" The Doctor queried once they'd gone outside.
"What did you just say?" Rose asked. "Oh it's bollocks that we dun have the TARDIS to translate these things yet…"
"Ah, she'll be ready for us to use soon enough. I asked him what the Tantrehdrians have come here for, that's all."
Jackie sighed. "Is it even gonna come out?"
"Jackie…" Pete pointed to the ship. A door was sliding up, and out stepped a most avian looking alien. It resembled what would happen if a velociraptor mated with a turkey, and then evolved to become entirely bipedal.
"I speak this planet's language," said the velociturkey, in a voice between a screech and a gobble.
"Then understand this. Leave now!" Jackie yelled. The alien narrowed its eyes and pulled a blaster from its side, where it was hilted. It pointed it at one of Jackie's inflatable yard ornaments and shot it, exploding the decoration in a blast of laser energy.
"Whoops, there goes the snowman," the Doctor stated. "I'm the Doctor, and I wish to know why you've come here. Well, because of the lights display of course, but what do you plan on doing now that you're here?"
"I came for two reasons. One being that I was drawn by the brilliance of these lights and colors."
"Well now, you don't have to flatter me. They are lovely though, aren't they?" Jackie placed her hand over her heart, faking humility.
"Two," the alien ignored her, "I was drawn here by the presence of immense extraterrestrial energy, as well as the presence of another alien life form."
"Aha! So it is your fault." Jackie smirked triumphantly.
"Part alien life form, you mean?" Rose poked the Doctor in the arm.
"I know not. I did not do a detailed scan. I came here for the extraterrestrial energy, more so than the non-earthling."
Pete stepped up to the Doctor. "Do I need to contact other members of the Torchwood team?"
"Not yet, Pete," the Doctor replied rapidly. "We might be able to get him to leave peacefully. We have no idea if he's hostile or not."
"He blew up my inflatable snowman. How is that not hostile?" Jackie interrupted.
"Come on Mum, let us handle this," Rose spoke gently to her mother.
She crossed her arms and let out a dramatic sigh. "Fine, fine."
"The energy would be from the TARDIS we have growing here. What do you want with it?" The Doctor asked.
"I wish to acquire it, whatever it takes. My ship does not have enough power to get home. I need an extensive energy source to do so. I know not what a TARDIS is, but the readings coming from it were off the charts."
"But you can't!" Rose commanded, a catch in her voice. "You can't take our TARDIS."
The Doctor placed his hand on Rose's chest, gently pushing her back. "He won't be taking our TARDIS, Rose." He walked toward the alien "Now I understand your need for an energy source, but I can point you to several alternatives even as close as Procyon A, which is just a walk in the park for a ship with Tantrehrdian level technology."
"No. I demand the energy source you have here. It will power my ship for the rest of its lifetime."
The Doctor's eyes darkened. "..."
"Then I'm afraid I'll have to take it by force…" The alien, sneered, as well as one could sneer with a beak, at least. "Now move aside or I shoo- "
"NOW SEE HERE!" Jackie stomped in front of the Doctor.
"Jackie no…" The Doctor waved his hands frantically.
"Quiet you." She glared back at him, and then turned toward the alien. "I'll NOT have you ruining our Christmas morning, you dinosaur turkey from planet Temper Tantrum or whatever." Jackie glowered and took a deep breath. "Now I'll have you know that I just love turkey at Christmas time, and I decided not to pick one up this year because everyone else loves ham better, but IF YOUDON'T LEAVE NOW, I'll remedy my need for turkey with a fresh meal of your feathery bum in my oven."
Much the Doctor's surprise (although perhaps it should not have been so shocking), the alien backed up a bit. Jackie continued. "Now I don't care if you came for my Christmas lights, or our part alien freeloader (the Doctor cut in with 'oi! I work'), or the alien machine they have growing in our basement, BUT YOU HAD BEST LEAVE; because I am normally a patient woman (everyone stifled laughter at this), but I WILL NO LONGER TOLERATE ALIENS ATTACKING ME ON CHRISTMAS!"
The velociturkey practically tripped on its own legs as it backed up further. "The females of your species are… most persuasive."
"THEN YOU'RE LEAVING?"
This time he fell backwards entirely, landing on his bum right inside his craft. "It appears that acquiring the technology you have here would be more trouble than it's worth. I was under the impression the Earth creatures were less formidable than this."
"Well you're quite wrong then," Jackie snapped.
"I will find the energy sources between here and Procyon A. Goodbye. Thank you for your assistance," the alien said all of this in a rush, as if eager as could be to get out of there.
"And good riddance then!" Jackie quipped. Pete and Rose stood behind her, slack jawed, as the alien closed its ship door and swiftly flew away.
"I—I--- what--- what?" Was all the Doctor could get out.
"Mum… uhh… wow."
Jackie looked to her husband. "You got an opening at Torchwood then? Human-Alien relations, maybe?" She teased.
Pete just gulped. "Um. Good job honey…. Good job."
"Now I'll have you know, from now on there will be absolutely NO aliens allowed in my presence on Christmas day," Jackie demanded. "Is that clear?"
Rose snickered. "Mum, I dun think that's possible…" She averted her eyes to the Doctor.
Jackie rolled her eyes. "Well part-aliens are okay, but only him. I've learned to tolerate him."
"Aw c'mon Jackie," the Doctor teased, "you know you love me."
She glared at him, but a small smile formed on her lips. "I'll make no comment on that."
"Hmph, mother-in-laws," he quipped.
"Don't get ahead of yourself. I'm not your mother-in-law yet."
Rose grinned, putting one arm around the Doctor's shoulder and one arm around her mother's. "That's enough you two. We've got Christmas breakfast and the Doctor an' I've got presents to open."
"You know I'm surprised the alien didn't comment on your bloody squeaking slippers," Jackie noted as the four of them began to walk back inside.
"Oi! What's wrong with my slippers?"
Rose and Jackie just laughed.
Hunger had overcome them, and the Tyler family plus the Doctor decided to eat their Christmas breakfast before the last gifts were exchanged. The breakfast was filled with conversation, and Jackie Tyler dominated it, bragging about her bravery against the fiendish velociturkey. The Doctor quickly realized that he was going to be hearing this story for the rest of Jackie's life, probably at every family gathering they had. She had already begun to embellish it as well, this time saying that the alien had had a blaster gun pointed at her the entire time. Tony, who had watched from the window, informed his Mum that it hadn't happened like that.
After breakfast, Rose and the Doctor stepped out into the living room to exchange gifts. "So… interesting morning?"
"Yeah I'd say so. Jackie is never going to let us live this down," he sighed disdainfully. Rose laughed.
"Only fair though. We've defeated tons of aliens, even dad has. Mum should get in a few shots at it." Rose curled her fingers in his. He returned the gesture, squeezing her hand.
"Well as an alien, I can vouch for the fact that Jackie Tyler is one of the scariest things on Earth." Rose's laugh grew louder and he kissed her quickly to shush her. "Presents now. Allons-y!"
The Doctor opened his gift first. Rose knew him well. She'd picked out a box of all seven Harry Potter books. He didn't have his old set of course, and Pete had used his influence to get them autographed by the magnanimous J.K. Rowling herself. "Rose, this is brilliant. How did you know I'd been wanting these? Gotta admit, losing my TARDIS library was a big blow. And J.K. herself! Now if only I could meet her. Bet she's brilliant in person, just brilliant!"
She beamed. "I'm glad you like 'em, and 'cuz you've checked 'em out from the library more than once. I'm sure the librarians are a bit weirded out, what with you checking out like twenty books and returning them the next day."
"Oi! I'm a fast reader." He gave her a fierce hug and handed Rose her gift. "Thank you Rose, thank you so much."
Rose ripped off the wrapping paper and opened the box that held her gift. It was some sort of… alien device, that much she knew. "Um?"
"It's an intergalactic radio," he explained. "You can tune into any station, any broadcast, in the entire universe. It's quite beyond any technology we've picked up at Torchwood, but the TARDIS is well grown enough that I was able to use some of her technology to finish it up. I know that you really loved the rock music of Yanakarika and the folk singers of Seleniost. Those are stations 35,457 and 100,768 respectively."
She grinned. "It's brilliant! But it makes the MP3 player Mum and Dad gave me look a little paltry."
"Oh no, not at all!" The Doctor exclaimed, proudly. "You can synch it with your MP3 player actually. That way you don't have to lug the radio with you everywhere. Your mum let me fiddle with your MP3 player so you can control the intergalactic radio from it, no matter where you are."
"Love it!" Rose proclaimed. "Love it, love it."
"Got one more little thing for you," he cut in. "Now I know it's a bit early, but after today's scare, I thought I'd go ahead and give you one."
"What is it, Doctor?"
He shook his head. "Oh this is always one of my favorite parts, and it's the second time I've gotten to do it with you. First time in this incarnation though, and last time it wasn't exactly… a proper moment."
She blinked, confused.
"TARDIS key!" He whipped it out of his robe pocket (for indeed, they were all still in their pyjamas). "She's not quite ready to fly, but I thought you might like having it."
Rose reached for the key, the cold metal familiar in her hand. She clenched her fingers around it, cherishing it. "Thank you Doctor, thank you so much."
"Happy Christmas again, Rose." Leaning down, he planted a deep kiss on her lips, which she wholeheartedly returned. His slippers squeaked as he shifted, and Rose broke free for a moment to laugh, before returning to the kiss.
They were so caught up in the moment, that they didn't notice when a certain someone stomped into the room. "Oh for heaven's sake you two. You're embarrassing. Can you at least make sure Tony can't just walk in and see you? Your mother walking in on you is bad enough, Rose Tyler..."