Authors' Note: Hello, happy Christmas/New Year! This is the second part to our Christmas chapter. Hope you like it! Thanks for reading!
A Custard Carol
The air was cold and snow crunched under their feet as the Doctor and River made their way across the lawn to the house.
"It's cold!" shivered the Doctor.
River rolled her eyes. "That's why I told you to land inside, dear."
"I still wish you would have just let me take off this elf costume, River," he complained as she tugged him through the snow, "It's cold and very tight."
After they had made it inside, and the Doctor had succeeded in getting snow all over the Ponds' rug, Amy rushed over and hugged them.
"It's so good to see you!" she said, stepping back and smiling. "And such good timing too!"
For it was Christmas Day, after all. The room was covered with tinsel and decorations, and the tree sitting in the corner was decorated to within an inch of its life.
Of course, Amy wasn't looking at the decorations when the Doctor was standing in front of her wearing an elf outfit. She looked at River, then at the Doctor, then at River again. "You know what?" she said. "I'm not even going to ask."
They'd been sitting around for a while having tea and getting up-to-date on where they were in each other's timelines when Rory decided he was going to help the unfortunate Doctor.
"I've got some pants you can borrow, Doctor." he ventured cautiously.
The Doctor smiled thankfully and, putting down his cup, made to stand up.
River pulled him back down again. "Sweetie, you can't wear my father's pants."
"But, River, I'm a thousand-year-old Time Lord! I can't sit around in this ridiculous outfit all day! One of my hearts is going to become surplus, as there's not enough air getting into my body!" he trailed off, as River fixed him with a stare.
"You said I only had to wear it once." he grumbled and leant back in his chair. The outfit restricted his movements however, so all he managed was a kind of ridiculous spasm, before having to sit up straight again. He sighed as deeply as he could.
River smiled at him. He was so childish. "Go on then, if you don't think it's weird, wearing your father-in-law's clothes. Go get dressed."
The Doctor got up as gracefully as his 'outfit' would allow and raced in the direction of the nearest closet.
River had just finished helping Amy clean up the dishes when the Doctor bounded into the room, wearing Rory's two-sizes-too-small jeans and a T-shirt with a large picture of a sloth on the front.
"Better, dear?" said River. Not that there are any clothes here that could look better on him…although those pants are decently indecently tight, if I do say so myself.
"Yup. Let's present!" he said, having gotten the hang of Christmas, and now eager to try his unwrapping skills again.
He leaped onto the Ponds' couch, patting a cushion next to him. "Come on, River, I can't wait to see their faces!"
River obliged, sitting slightly close to the Doctor than he felt was necessary. After all, these pants are quite revealing.
Amy and Rory settled themselves across from them, smiling at their daughter and her Doctor.
"Me first!" said the Doctor, jumping up excitedly. "Let me hand them out!"
He pulled several packages out from under the tree and distributed them accordingly. He then reached under the tree again and pulled a large rectangular package out. Placing it gently at his feet, he set about ripping off the paper of his presents.
River had given Rory and Amy (but particularly Amy) a large bottle of what was presumably alcohol.
"River, sweetie, what is this exactly?" said Amy, squinting at the label, which was written in alien script.
"Champagne, basically. Very very very very expensive champagne. It was quite tricky to ste-I mean, get a hold of."
Amy looked at River disapprovingly. "River, you're in prison. How on anywhere did you manage to steal a priceless bottle of champagne?"
River just smiled and said nothing.
Rory had just unwrapped a bundle of socks. "Um, okay." he said, flipping through the pairs. "Harry Potter socks. Neat."
He looked at the Doctor questioningly, who grinned and rubbed his hands together. "From the year 3 million, Rory! Nobody on Earth-well, chances are there's nobody on Earth-has got the same socks as you!"
"Hmm." Rory said, still examining the socks.
Amy gave River a jumper. "A jumper?" she said, holding it up to herself. It was TARDIS-blue and had a huge 'R' on the front, in golden thread.
Amy smiled. "It took me ages to make. When you were sleeping, I had to sneak in and measure up your other jumpers. But it should fit."
River grinned and pulled the jumper on. It was quite warm and one arm was slightly longer than the other, but she loved it anyway.
The Doctor had been given a new bowtie, which was custard-yellow and patterned with fish wearing top hats, monocles and bowties.
He looked delighted and put it on, even though the T-shirt didn't have a collar. "Ha! Brilliant! I love it!" he said, angling his head so he could see it.
"It kind of reminded me of you," said Amy. Rory nodded, smiling.
When all the other presents were unwrapped, the Doctor pulled out the rectangular parcel and handed it to Rory and Amy, smiling excitedly. Giving the presents was almost as fun as getting them, he'd discovered. He sat back into the couch and River wrapped her arm around him.
Amy and Rory gently unwrapped a painting. Not just any painting, it was a huge canvas portrait of Amy, Rory, River and the Doctor.
Whilst Amy was taken at looking at the details, Rory tapped her on the arm and pointed to a corner of the painting.
"Is that…do you think?" he muttered. Amy's eyebrows jumped skywards and her jaw dropped.
"You did not get Leonardo da Vinci to do a 'family portrait' for our Christmas present." she said.
The Doctor shrugged, grinning. "He owed me a favour," he said, winking at River. "This just about covers it, don't you think?"
Amy was in the living room with River, hanging their new portrait.
The Doctor was in the kitchen with Rory, who was cooking their Christmas dinner.
"There's a lot of crashing and banging coming from in there," said the Doctor, looking at Rory, who was setting the oven timer.
He shrugged. "When my wife and daughter are in the same room there tends to be a lot of noise."
The Doctor nodded, and crossing his arms, leant against the fridge. "So, Mr Pond, how long is this turkey going to take until we can eat it?" he said tapping his fingers.
"Oh, a couple of hours. Move over," he gestured, holding the bottle of Amy's champagne. "I need to get to the fridge."
"But that's so long! Can't we eat sooner?" said the Doctor moving over obligingly.
Rory rolled his eyes. He's so childish.
"No, we need to let it cook slowly, so it cooks all the way through." Rory said, as though explaining to a child.
The Doctor stared at the oven, hand wandering to the pocket containing his sonic screwdriver. "But surely we could-"
"No." said Rory firmly, staring at the Doctor, who stared back. "If I mess it up, both of those women will kill me."
He sighed, as the Doctor looked at the oven again.
"Oh, come on, Rory! Only a little bit, I think…point and think, you know, it'll be fine!" he said, clapping Rory on the shoulder. "At least I think it'll be fine. Should be, probably. Definitely."
Rory made an 'if-you-must' gesture. "Fine. But, if anything goes wrong, I'll have you know that I'm taking my clothes back."
The Doctor nodded at him, and pointed the sonic at the oven.
Amy and River were standing back admiring the painting when there was a 'puff!' noise in the kitchen, and smoke tendrils crept their way out of the door.
"If Rory let him anywhere near the Christmas dinner, I'll kill them both!" said Amy, beckoning for River to follow her into the kitchen.
In the kitchen stood a very bashful Rory and the Doctor, both covered in oven soot.
"Oh, hello." said the Doctor, clapping his hands together to rid them of the powdery oven remains. "You may want to consider a new oven. It could be quite a good idea indeed."
Amy and River were staring at him, both with hands on their hips. They look remarkably alike, he thought. Like mother, like daughter. At least, I hope so. Two Rivers would be quite a handful indeed.
"Okay, well, you two, I hope you're happy. You've ruined Christmas dinner. Now how exactly can you explain the hole in the wall where our oven is supposed to be?" said Amy, crossing her arms.
Rory spoke from the 'hole', where he was inspecting the wall. "The wall's alright, actually. We can just clean the oven dust off."
The Doctor nodded. "Well, Rory said that dinner was going to be a few hours, and well, who wants to wait a few hours for dinner on Christmas? So I applied a little sonic magic, and it appears that your oven has some kind of grudge against sonic screwdrivers, jealousy perhaps," he trailed off as River fixed him with a stare he didn't like at all. That was a punishment stare. "But that's beside the point. And your oven kind of disintegrated."
"It was pretty cool." added Rory from the ground.
The Doctor nodded. "There you have it. Well, at least I know several oven-free things that are quick to make and pretty tasty too, if I don't say so myself. Several hundred years of time travel have taught me nothing if not how to make a good meal out of nothing."
As he spoke he was rummaging in the Ponds' freezer.
"Aha!" he said, pulling out a box of fish fingers and handing them to River, who rolled her eyes.
"Sweetie, don't we need custard for these?" she said, raising an eyebrow at him.
"Mmm…" he said, burying his head in the fridge. "Rory, you're the Keeper of the Kitchen around here. I ask you, sir, what is a kitchen fridge without custard?" he asked, leaning against the fridge door and fixing the unfortunate Rory with a stare not dissimilar to River's.
"Well, last time you were here you took it all. I'll just pop down to the petrol station and get some," said Rory as he left the room. "I'll be back in a bit!" he called from the hallway.
As the front door shut, River and Amy stared at the Doctor.
"I'll just…help you clean up then, won't I?"
In half an hour Rory was back, the fish fingers were spinning around in the microwave oven and River was pouring custard into bowls.
"Hey, you gave Rory more than me!" said the Doctor, who was hovering around anxiously. He kept switching his decision about which bowl was his.
"No, I didn't. Now go and put cutlery on the table, or at least pretend to be doing something useful." said River, not looking up from pouring, and shooing him away with one of her hands.
After a reasonably filling, strangely delicious meal of fish fingers and custard, the Doctor stretched back in his chair. "Well, Ponds, I'm going to go change in the TARDIS. Be back soon," he said, turning as he walked to the door and pointing at River. "Don't you dare follow me."
Amy and Rory gave River strange looks. She smiled nonchalantly at them.
Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor was not surprised when a few minutes later he heard the TARDIS door open.
Since when was River one to follow the rules?