A/N: I wrote this months ago, and haven't posted it before now because I feared upsetting someone. So before I begin, any Christians out there, I mean no disrespect. This is just a different viewpoint. For all I know, you're utterly right.


Tyleerian

"Mum, have you heard of Tyleerian?"

"You what?"

It was Christmas Eve on Pete's World, and Rose was engaged in the rather difficult activity of trying to explain to her mother exactly why neither she nor the Doctor would be going to the Crib Service that night. They were in the sitting room, next to an imperious looking eight foot tree; Rose and the Doctor had popped over to drop off their presents ready for the next day. Jackie hadn't let them go that easily, and so the three of them were here arguing while Pete was in Tony's room, trying to persuade him that opening presents a day early was not a good idea, no matter what he might think now.

"Tyleerian," Rose repeated. "It's a religion on the planet Saliu."

"The only religion on Saliu," the Doctor chipped in.

Jackie frowned. "Well of course I haven't heard of it, have I? We haven't all been off flying round the universe!"

It had been long enough that this didn't hurt as it might have done, which was the reason Jackie didn't shirk away from saying it. Still, Rose tightened her grip on the Doctor's hand just in case he was thinking of the TARDIS, and he did the same for her.

"Yeah, well, they're illiterate, so they don't exactly have a holy book or anything, but they do have a set of things that are sacred," Rose informed her.

"Yellow silk," said the Doctor.

"Root vegetables fried in oil," Rose rejoined.

"Dropping your aitches."

"The hymn 'Fix You'."

"Flowers with lots of petals."

"The mythological stories of a paradise called Urth."

"Oorth?" Jackie questioned.

"They got the pronunciation a bit wrong," the Doctor explained. "Was originally Earth."

"Earth," she said disbelievingly. "Where on… where the hell did they get that idea from?"

Rose grinned, a bit sheepishly. "Us."

"Oi!" exclaimed the Doctor. "This has nothing to do with me."

"It does!" Rose protested. "It was cos you'd been locked up that I started to tell them all this stuff in the first place."

Jackie was getting a little confused. "What the bloody hell are you going on about?"

They turned away from each other, back to her. "Tyleerian, Jackie," the Doctor said, "is a religion based on Rose."

Confused had given way to flabbergasted. "What?"

Taking pity on her, Rose began to explain. "So like I said, he'd been locked up for insulting this Saliuan's honour when he didn't salute when we arrived."

"Not a fan of salutes," the Doctor muttered.

"But they're really a very cultural and polite race," Rose continued. "If you don't know their customs, they let you off, no problem. I didn't know a thing about them, obviously, but he clearly did. So while he was thrown in jail, I was being wined and dined by these lilac aliens with no hair and flat noses. And they were asking all sorts of questions about who I was, where I came from, favourite song, favourite food, what my name meant, my accent, that sort of thing."

"Next thing I knew, I was being released because it was the Goddess's wish," the Doctor cut in.

Rose laughed. "They thought I sounded so exotic that I must be a Goddess. So they created a religion round me."

Jackie was still struggling to get her head round this, so she reverted to her original argument. "What's that got to do with the Crib Service?"

"Because I don't believe in your God, Jackie," the Doctor said. "I don't believe in any God. I mean, there are civilisations out there that worship me!" His nose wrinkled in disgust at this prospect.

"But you exist," Jackie argued. "Who's to say that God doesn't, too?"

"He might," the Doctor acknowledged. "If He's even a him. And I don't have a problem with people believing that God, or Rose, or even I exist. It's the notion of blind or undeserved faith that I'm not keen on."

He was a lost cause, Jackie knew. Still: "You don't have to be a completely solid Christian to come to a Crib Service. It's about the kids doing their nativity play, and singing carols."

"I know." He was completely impassive.

Sighing, she gave up and turned to her daughter. "What about you, then?"

"Mum, we never went to church when I was a kid. Only for weddings, and funerals. And anyway, there're bits of Christianity I'm really not keen on. I'd feel like I need to apologise for things that are completely right, y'know? Not that," she added hastily as Jackie's eyes flicked from her to the Doctor and back. "Things like… you remember Jack?"

"Handsome bloke who runs Torchwood in the other world? Like I'd forget him."

"Yeah, he's… well, omnisexual, I s'pose. Doesn't discriminate in the slightest. And that's normal, where he comes from. But the Bible basically says he's a freak who shouldn't exist."

Jackie rolled her eyes. "We're not living in the dark ages, Rose. Most people don't care anymore."

Rose snorted. "Yeah, right. Even if they didn't, I still don't want to go sit in a church and pretend I'm alright with what the guy at the front believes."

Jackie noticed that the Doctor was nodding slightly at what Rose was saying. She wasn't sure whether this annoyed her or made her appreciate just how sweet they were together. "Why are you celebrating Christmas at all, then?" she asked, reasonably.

"Cos it's a family thing, not just a religious thing," Rose answered immediately.

"And you don't have to go to a church," the Doctor added.

"And let's be honest," said Rose, "is Tony thinking about Jesus or Father Christmas?"

Knowing she was beaten, Jackie threw up her hands. "Fine!" she said. "But you are not getting married in a registry office in jeans and a t shirt, you understand me?"

Really, it was quite amusing the way they both blushed to exactly the same shade. They really were perfect for each other.


A/N: Well, I'm still looking for ideas for this fic, so feel free to suggest any! And if I have upset anyone too much, tell me and I'll remove this chapter. It can languish on my hard drive where it can do no harm to anyone.