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I do not own Doctor Who in any way, shape or form.

His eyes may have been closed, but the Doctor was so very, very awake.

He was exhausted from his regeneration. He'd had just enough energy to get Rose home before he collapsed. His body started to slow down, making it even harder for him to concentrate on listening to the conversation happening around him. He gave in and let his mind shut down, falling into a deep sleep.

A few hours later, the Doctor was awake but could not seem to find the strength to do anything, even open his eyes. He struggled to get up for a bit, but then gave up and just lay there, listening. Because of his superior Time Lord senses, he could hear everything that was going on. He could hear Rose and Mickey talking in the other room and Jackie, in the kitchen, probably making tea.

Wait…..tea. That's what he needed. The Doctor knew that if he had a good cup of tea, it would help him wake up and actually be able to do something. He felt so useless and lazy, just laying there. Rose and Mickey's voices grew louder as they walked past his room, on their way out. Then, once the door had shut behind them, he was unable to make out their muffled words. He could still hear Jackie, who was now watching the telly and talking on the phone. Since the Doctor had nothing to do, and no intention of going back to sleep soon, he was forced to listen to the cheesy soap opera that was entertaining his companion's mother.

A while later, he could hear a solid pounding noise closing in on the room, and it took him a second to realize what it was.

It was the oh-so-familiar sound of Rose's footsteps hitting the floor. How many times had he heard those feet pounding on the floor when they were running away from danger? He struggled to wake his body up so he could see what was wrong. He could hear another pair of footsteps, a few feet behind Rose, and he knew that it was only Mickey. Whatever they were running from must have been farther behind.

"Get off the phone, get off the phone," shouted Rose, bursting through the door with Mickey only inches behind her.

"It's only Beth, she says hello," responded Jackie.

"Beth? Ye-, look, it'll have to wait." The Doctor heard the mechanical beep as Rose disconnected the call. "Right, it's not safe, we've gotta get out, where can we go?"

The Doctor could hear the panic in Rose's voice and struggled even harder to make his body move. Why is this so difficult?

"My mate Stan, he'll put us up," responded Mickey, a little out of breath.

"That's only two streets away. What about Myrtle, where's she livin' now?"

"Dunno," said Jackie, "Peter Street?"

"Oh, then we'll go to cousin Myrtle's place then," Rose said authoritatively.

Jackie sounded annoyed. "It's Christmas Eve, we're not goin' anywhere! What are you babbling about?"

"Mum," Rose sighed. The Doctor heard her take a breath in to start her next sentence. Then she paused. Why did she pause?

There was a beat of silence. "Where'd you get that tree?"

Another pause. "That's a new tree, where'd you get it?"

"I thought it was you," said Jackie, sounding confused.

"How can it be me?" Rose shot back.

"Well, you went shopping, there was a ring at the door, and then there it was!"

"No, that wasn't me." He could tell that Rose was concerned. He fought against himself, but he still lacked the energy to get up and walk out there. He still couldn't even open his eyes.

"Then who was it?" Jackie asked, sounding fearful.

There was the almost imperceptible sound of sparks, and then;

"Oh, you're kidding me," Rose said.

Christmas music started playing out of nowhere, and then the sounds of Rose, Mickey, and Jackie's screams filled the air.

The Doctor fought harder than he ever had before. He had to get out there and help. He couldn't let anyone die, especially one of the three humans in the hallway outside the room he was staying in.

"We've got to save the Doctor!" Rose yelled as he heard Jackie fumbling with the door. No, he thought. Rose, get out! I can't lose you! Just get out! It can't hurt me! Go! RUN!

"What are you doing?" Jackie yelled at her daughter.

"We can't just leave him!" exclaimed Rose, as if the idea itself was the most ridiculous thing she had ever heard.

"Mickey! Mickey, get out!" Jackie yelled back towards the sitting room.

"Mickey!" Rose yelled, almost commanding.

"Get out of there!" Jackie yelled again.

The Doctor, still battling against himself, heard Mickey run into the room to help Rose.

"No, leave him! Just leave him!" Jackie sounded near hysterics as she yelled at her daughter.

"Get in here!" Mickey yelled back at her.

He could hear the sound of shattering glass and splintering wood getting closer and closer to the room they were all taking refuge in, but his body was just not listening to his mind. He knew exactly what muscles he needed to move and exactly how much he needed to move them to get himself out of the bed, but they just weren't cooperating.

"Doctor, wake up!" Rose demanded. He could tell she was leaning over him, trying to see if there was any reaction from him at all. He felt her presence move away from him, and a few seconds later, he felt the familiar shape and texture of his sonic screwdriver in his hand. Oh, you clever girl, he thought. Now come on, you stupid body, you're brand new and there's nothing wrong with you. Can't you just work properly?

More screams filled the air.

"I'm gonna get killed by a Christmas tree!" Jackie sounded like she was sobbing.

Suddenly Rose's was right next to him. He could feel her lips brush against his ear as she said the only two words in the world that could have woken his body up—

"Help me."

That was all it took. The Doctor gave himself the biggest mental kick in the arse that he could, and suddenly, he was sitting up, ready to get rid of any danger that dare threaten his companion. He looked, processed, and found a solution to the Christmas tree problem in front of him in less than a fourth of a second. He pointed his sonic screwdriver, turned it on, and the danger was no more.

He could hear everyone breathe a sigh of relief, and could feel Rose's eyes on the back of his head. He didn't dare turn around and look at her, because he was ashamed. Ashamed of himself for not being able to help her as soon as the danger had shown itself. He was so ashamed that he could be sick. So, instead of looking back at his wonderful companion, he instead looked in front of him at the demolished tree, choosing to deal with that first.

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