Title: A Glorious Mess (3/3)

Author: wyntereyez

Fandom: Doctor Who

Characters: Ten-II, Rose Tyler

Rating: T

Series: Talk to the Hand

Beta: Nope. Still none.

Summary: Set between Crossed Wires and Straight Up With A Twist, the Doctor and Rose share

their first Christmas together. This, of course, uses the 'first Christmas' fic cliché.

A/N: And the end. Later than I intended. Sorry; stuff happened. I wasn't sure how to handle the POV's; I didn't want to switch between, so I've tried for an omniscient style where we can read both characters' thoughts. It's not long, it's not complicated, it just does what needs to be done.

Part Three – Christmas Together

When they wake up that Christmas morning, the Doctor is still wearing the ugly sweater, but it has been joined by Rose's Santa hat. She is still wearing the wig and beard. "Good present?" she murmurs sleepily.

"The best," the Doctor says purrs. "I'll have to be naughty every year if that's what I'm going to get."

"Mmm…" she agrees. "If you want the rest of your gifts, though, we have to get up and head to Mum's."

He groans, but he really wants presents. He's not even a month old, after all, and he has a childlike enthusiasm about being surprised with gifts. "'kay," he says, dragging himself reluctantly from her embrace. "You have to open yours before we go, though," he says, before stumbling off to the kitchen for coffee. He's not sure if his need for coffee is a human thing or a Donna thing, but it's inconvenient, and gets in the way of fun things, like watching Rose unwrap her gifts. He fixes a cup then settles on the sofa, the TARDIS coral in one arm. Rose sits on the floor, presents stacked around her. She waits until the Doctor is seated before digging in.

The presents were… 'safe,' Rose supposes is the best way to describe them. Perfumes and bath supplies, make-up to replace what he'd used up in his experiments, some clothing (he really does have a good eye for fashion, she decides, as she admires a particularly stunning blouse), a few trinkets she suspects caught his eye because they were shiny, and a half-empty box of expensive chocolates (she suspects he'd needed the other half to maintain the energy he'd needed to put all the Christmas decorations together.)

The Doctor watches quietly, sipping at his coffee absently. He'd tried hard with the presents, but he freely admits he hadn't known what to give her and had relied on guidance from the salespeople. There is one gift, however, that he'd come up with on his own. He's saving that one for later.

After Rose finishes, and kisses him in gratitude, they get ready to head to the Tyler mansion. Much to Rose's dismay, the Doctor wears the hideous sweater beneath his favourite blue suit.

Jackie greets them at the door. She hugs Rose, and is about to pull a squirming Doctor into a rib-cracking embrace when she catches sight of the pink blanket in the Doctor's arm.

"What is - Rose, you didn't!" Jackie howls. "He's not even been here a month!"

"What?" the Doctor says, alarmed. A shrill Jackie is a slap-happy Jackie. He gives Rose a wild-eyed look. "What did you do?"

"I didn't - " Rose protests. "Mum, you would have known - "

"Is it his, then?" Jackie demands. "Bad enough I've had to worry about you comin' home pregnant with an alien baby; now I have to worry about him having one?"

"Wait, what?" the Doctor yelps. Before he can repeat himself, Rose steps in. "Mum, it's not what you think," she says firmly.

"It's a TARDIS," the Doctor says indignantly, opening the blanket and giving her a look at the amber-hued coral chunk. His voice raises several octaves. "Why would you even think that I - "

Rose grabs his hand and lead him inside before she accidentally confesses that her mum's not the only one with concerns that he's more female than he lets on.

He makes a beeline towards the massive tree, and squeals in delight when he sees just how many of the presents have his name on them. Not as many as he'd gotten Rose, but then, he's never really received any before, so even a small amount makes him happy.

The Doctor immediately tears into them, making a mess that rivaled any that Tony had made. Rose and the rest of her family stand several feet back, afraid of getting in range of the blur of hands and gift wrap shrapnel and perhaps finding themselves 'unwrapped.' Although, Rose makes a mental note to see if he can be this… handy in bed.

She'd picked up things she thought would appeal to him: a laptop of his very own (which compels him to tell her that her laptop no longer functions quite the same way as before), a history program that will hopeful allow him to learn the history of Pete's World (he sometimes doesn't grasp, for example, that 1587 comes after 1231), a box of Legos (hey, she still likes playing with them with Tony; why not have fun with her own big kid?) and edible body paint.

He stares at the last for a long moment, before squirting it on his hand and gingerly tasting it. Then he eagerly laps it up, and is about to squirt out more before she stops him. "That's for us," she says.

"Really?" he says, baffled.

"For you to lick off me," she drops her voice before her mum can scold her. The Doctor's eyes widen in understanding.

Before Rose can further explain the use of edible body paint in detail, Jackie interrupts by handing them each gifts. Rose's is a handbag that goes with the evening dress she and her mother had picked out last week. The Doctor's gift makes both of them stare.

It's a knitted blue police box, standing about a foot and a half high, slightly lopsided but still immediately recognizable.

"It's a TARDIS!" the Doctor says delightedly.

"Made it myself," Jackie says proudly. "The panels were the hardest; couldn't remember how many there were, and I think the windows are the wrong size, but I did it."

"I didn't know you could knit," Rose says.

"Knitting club. Every Tuesday." Jackie shrugs.

"I thought you went to book club," Rose says, confused.

"I do now. Got kicked out of the knitting club because they didn't trust me with sharp metal objects. But I was there long enough to learn how to do that." She keeps her tone neutral, but looks thrilled at the Doctor's reaction. He's clinging to it like his life depends on it, and Rose suspects it's going to share the bed with them tonight.

"Thank you! But… I didn't get anything for you." The Doctor's face falls.

Jackie ruffles his hair. "You don't need to. You make my daughter happy; that's gift enough. Besides, Rose signed your name on the gift she picked out for me, so really, you did." She heads off towards the kitchen to check the progress of Christmas dinner, Tony in tow. Pete had vanished earlier, mumbling something about 'work' but more likely playing one of the new video games he'd claimed he'd gotten for Tony, despite the toddler being too young for them.

The Doctor and Rose were suddenly alone. He briefly considers asking Rose to head to one of the guest bedrooms and demonstrate the proper use of edible body paint (brilliant invention, that!) but he really isn't ready yet to face the trauma of having Jackie walking in on them.

But this is the perfect time for his 'special project.' His hand slips into his pocket, and he clears his throat.

"I do have another gift for you," he says, suddenly shy. He pulls a small package from his jacket pocket and hands it to her carefully. "I didn't have the shopgirl's help with this one."

Rose accepts it gravely. Whatever this gift was, it meant a lot to him. She tries not to rip the wrapping too eagerly. When she peels the last of the shiny paper away and a small silver tube falls into her hands, she stares.

"It's a pen." She forces a smile; not the most exciting of gifts, but he just seems so pleased with himself, she can't bear to disappoint him. "It's the pen from Pete's office," she continues with a quiet horror, as she examines the pen more closely. The platinum plated pen is a gift from the Japanese empress for Pete's services in eradicating the Cybermen threat in her country, and its value is calculated to be in the higher end of the five-digit range. It had been embossed with Pete's name, but that has been scratched out, and her own carved in its place in uneven script, along with a series of circles and hexagons she recognizes as the Doctor's native language.

Pete is going to kill him. Not because the Doctor has stolen the valuable pen, but because this means the Doctor, who only has limited security clearance, has somehow bypassed Torchwood's tightest security and broken into Pete's office without getting caught.

The Doctor rubs the back of his neck guiltily. "Yeah, welllll… it was the only pen I could find with a casing that wouldn't melt when the sonic is activated. But I left him another pen to replace it, one with a fluffy orange googly-eyed thing at the tip!"

Yep. The Doctor is so dead. Wait… "Sonic?"

He nods. "A sonic pen. Got the idea from Ms. Foster, not that I'm not brilliant enough to come up with the idea on my own – I did make Sarah Jane's sonic lipstick, after all – and it seemed like a good choice for you. It doesn't have many settings, but it'll open locks. Better than lock picks, anyway." Rose grimaces. Ah. So he'd heard that story, then. But she'd regained full use of her finger, so it wasn't a total disaster.

"Thank you," she breathes. He'd been babbling about building a new screwdriver, but she hadn't realised he was planning to build something for her as well.

He grins, pleased that she likes it. He decides not to tell her just yet that Pete had given him the pen, telling him to please get the ugly thing off his desk.

"I have one more gift for you, too," Rose says, pulling a thin package from beneath the sofa, where she'd slipped it when the Doctor was distracted. The Doctor frowned at it, perhaps sensing there was something different about this one. Then he slowly opened it, fingers trembling as they brushed against a warm metal object that seems to come alive at his touch, causing a stirring in senses he'd thought dormant. His breath catches in his throat at the achingly familiar sensation he'd thought he'd never feel again.

"Rose… is this…?" He carefully plucks it from the tissue paper and holds it in his palm. "It is! Rose, you can't give me your TARDIS key!" He tries to hand it to her, but she places her hands around his and closes his fingers around the cool metal. She then helps him slip the chain around his neck and nestles the key against his chest. A tear slips down his face.

"Yes I can," she whispers. "I don't need it anymore, Doctor. I have you." She leans forward, until she's only inches away from his face. Her gaze flickers upward. "There's mistletoe up there," she tells him. "You know what it's for, right?"

"To keep away werewolves," he murmurs.

"Well, that too," Rose says, shutting her eyes and brushing her lips against his. But before they can make full contact, Tony thunders past them, squealing. The Doctor stiffens when he sees what Tony has clutched in one chubby fist, which he's bringing towards his mouth. He springs to his feet and sprints after Tony, who is surprisingly fast for someone still in nappies.

"Stop him! He's chewing on the TARDIS!"

~fin~