Author'sNote: For those of you who have not read it, Jack told the Doctor that he was the one responsible for blowing up Donna's car on her first day at Torchwood in Blast To The Past Chapter 5. I hope that you all have the happiest of holidays this season, however you may choose to celebrate them. :)
Everyone's attention is instantly brought straight back to Jack as he confesses loud enough for all the room to hear, "See? I can keep a secret. She still doesn't know that I blew up her car, does she?"
The entire room goes silent, deadly silent in Donna's case. Unable to manage more than a whisper, she asks, "You blew up my car?"
Jack gasps in shocks and breathes, "What? How did you find out?" He looks around the room accusingly and demands, "Who told her?"
Donna continues to shake her head slowly as if trying to wake up from a dream while muttering, "You blew up my car…"
Jamie moans, "Aw, son, why'd you have to go and do that for? Now we're going to have to change our names again."
Completely nonplussed by the situation, Zoe suggests, "How about Herriot this time?"
Jamie gives her a shrewd look and grumbles, "You and your obsession with All Creatures Great and Small! It's because of that Tristan fellow isn't it? You've always fancied him!" pouts Jamie with a trace of jealousy.
"Well…" blushes Zoe.
Donna manages to finally snap out her stupor and with a temper fiery enough to match her hair screams, "You idiot! Do you have any idea how much I loved that car? How I scrimped and saved my way through university so that I could buy it? Not to mention all the memories attached to it from all the road trips that Gramps and I took together! How could you be so stu-"
Whether it was the alcohol or being the object of Donna's rage, Jack couldn't take it anymore. He had never seen her so angry that she scared him to death and not in a bad way. In Jack's mind it was the kind of death where you died and would pop right back up again for more. Her bellows and rants were music to his ears. The buildup of his passion begged for release and he couldn't hold back any longer. This was it. This was his moment, their moment. So he kissed her. With every ounce of love, passion and fear that he held for her, he kissed her with all his heart until the only reason that either of them pulled away was for some much needed air.
"Wow," whispers Jack dreamily, "That was…wow…" He opens his eyes and gazing at her, he sighs, "I'm sorry about that but you were just so absolutely breathtakingly terrifying that I just couldn't resist."
Donna slowly opens her eyes and breathes deeply before laying her hand tenderly against his cheek. She smiles sweetly as she murmurs, "You know what? I don't think that I can resist either." SLAP! "Ipswich! You blew up my car!"
"Ouch!" remarks the Brig to Jaime. "Are you sure it's Christmas Eve and not Boxing Day?"
Donna raves non-stop at a drunken Jack who is just barely managing to stay upright. The remaining occupants of the room had gathered around the couple but were slowly backing away to give them privacy and of course for their own safety.
Wilf shakes his head sadly and empathizes, Poor Captain Jack. She's going to eat him alive. I'll miss him. Ah, well, must get that coffee for Sarah Jane. With a spring in his step born of worshipful adoration, he hurries off to the kitchen for his beloved Sarah Jane.
Never one caring to be around when it's Volcano Day, the Doctor starts tugging Rose away from Donna and Jack. She asks, "Where are we going?"
The Doctor replies, "In search of the First Aid kit. Let's hope that Jack's not a bleeder."
Zoe has wandered away with her sister and mentions, "Sarah Jane, you never did tell me about your story coming out in tomorrow's paper."
Sarah Jane claims, "Oh, it is brilliant! One of my best! It's an expose on St. Bob! It's called Man or Myth? Well, obviously the answer is myth. He must only be a mere man if he can only pull his act together one day of the year."
Zoe laughs and states, "True." She looks over at her son still being berated by the love of his life and sighs, "It's a pity that we'll have to hide it from Jack though."
Sarah Jane sighs as well and while shaking her head in both fondness and amusement, chuckles, "Yes, I know."
The Brig and Jamie watch Jack and Donna for a bit leaving Jamie to muse aloud, "Aw, young love. It's grand isn't it, Brig?"
"Yeah," concurs the Brig. "But do you know what's just as good?" He lowers his voice. "The billionaire's booze. I've heard he's got a wine cellar and a storage unit full of cognac."
"Really?" queries Jamie with considerable interest.
"Yup," assures the Brig, popping the p. "Why don't you and I go out on a little scouting expedition like we used to when we were kids? You can grab some bottles of wine for you and the missus and I'll be in charge of the unit."
Jamie says, "Deal!" He sees Zoe and Sarah Jane deep in conversation on the other side of the room and advises, "We better hurry before we're missed. Now listen to me Brig, when I say 'run', run." He takes one more peek around the room to make sure that the coast is clear before he urges, "Run!"
On their way out of the living room, the Doctor becomes distracted when he notices two presents addressed to him under the Christmas tree. He drags Rose over to the tree when he sees that both cards are in Rose's handwriting. He turns to her and asks inquisitively, "Why is one present addressed to John and the other addressed to Doctor?"
Rose's reply is heartfelt yet simple. "Because they're not just one or the other Doctor, they're both you. The Doctor and John Smith are one and the same and they're both the man that I love."
The Doctor cradles her jaw and rubs the softest of circles along her cheek as he gazes at her with his entire heart in his eyes. Very quietly, he murmurs, "Rose…"
"Yes, Doctor?" Rose responds breathily.
"May I open one now?" He bounces up and down excitedly. "Oh, please, may I? Just one present? No more than that, I promise! Please?"
Rose huffs in amusement and pointing to one agrees, "Yes, you may open that one."
"Oh, I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it!" he declares. "I wonder what it could be…" He swiftly opens the box and reaches inside, his eyes misting over as he pulls out the object with the utmost reverence. The Doctor stares at it complete silence until he quietly marvels, "Oh, my…Rose, is this real?"
Rose whispers, "Yes, Doctor, it's real."
He starts to babble, "I…I…I never thought this would be possible. I mean, I always thought about this, but I never thought…I mean I was going to look into the possibility but…"
Rose hushes him by laying two fingers gently over his mouth and murmurs, "I know that you're basically still my Doctor but with some of the changes that you've went through, I wasn't sure if you'd be happy…"
This time, it is the Doctor who shushes her. He kisses her fingertips before gently pulling them away from his mouth and assuring her, "Happy? No, I'm not happy at all, Rose Tyler. I am ecstatic! I love this and I'll love for you for the rest of my days for this precious gift! For our forever, however long that may last and whatever comes after that!"
Filled with relief at his response, Rose embraces him tightly with no plans to let go anytime soon. The Doctor, of the same mind, holds her just as tightly to him and is about to pull away only far enough to kiss her when they are interrupted by Tony.
Peeking over the Doctor's shoulder, he interrogates, "What's that? Is it something that I can play with?"
The Doctor quickly places the item back in the box and he and Rose both answer in unison, "No!"
"Fine!" Tony huffs before departing to find his parents.
Tony finds his Mum and Dad gazing at the Nativity scene and he picks up the figure of baby Jesus and stares at it in deep contemplation. He looks up at his parents and asks, "Mum? Dad?"
Pete smiles down at the boy and inquires, "Yes, son?"
Tony poses, "Where do babies come from?"
Jackie and Pete both stammer, "Ermmm…Well…."
Tony presses, "And what is Marmalade body paint?"
The Doctor and Rose cringe when they overhear Tony's question and at the matching glares that Pete and Jackie shoot in their direction. They hurriedly move away from the tree and into to the entranceway and watch everyone from afar.
Rose mumbles apologetically, "I'm sorry, Doctor. It's not exactly what I envisioned for our first Christmas together. I take it that it's another Parallel disaster?"
The Doctor rapidly disagrees, "No, not really, although I will admit that this night may have just changed everything for me."
"Really?" asks Rose in astonishment.
The Doctor rocks back on his heels exclaiming, "Oh, yes! I used to dream about the Time War, but now I think I'll have nightmares about this night instead."
Rose laughs and swats his arm while chastising, "Doctor!"
The Doctor merely grins back cheekily at her and snatches Wilf's hat off of his head as he passes him on the way to meet Sarah Jane. He dangles the mistletoe over Rose's head and whispers, "Happy Christmas, Rose Tyler."
"Merry Christmas, Doctor," returns Rose. And the rest of the room fades quietly away into the background leaving just the two of them to each other, just as it should be.
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!