Christmas With Your Family
"Rose!" Tony jumped up and down in the snow, mitten-clad hands reaching up towards the top of the undecorated snowman. Frowning, he turned towards his sister and pointed at the carrot in his hand. "Please Rosie!"
Giggling and reluctantly tearing her gaze away from the Doctor she sat up in the middle of her snow angel, brushing the snow out of her hair. "What is it, Tony?"
Jumping again he pointed at the featureless face of the snowman. "I can't reach! Please help me!"
"Alright, come here." Grinning she took the few steps across to the five year old and picked him up. Cautiously he reached out and pushed the carrot into the snowman, grinning proudly at his sister when he proved successful at making it stay. "Looks great." She kissed his cheek. "Just need some stones for his eyes and mouth now." She put him down and pulled his hat down so it covered his ears. "Why don't you go and find some?"
When he ran off, struggling through what felt like deep snow to him, the Doctor walked up behind Rose and slipped his arms around her waist. "Are you aware that you have a very snowy back?"
She leant her head back against him, relishing in his warmth. "Well we weremaking snow angels so it follows." She smiled as he pressed a kiss to her temple. "Bet yours is just as snowy."
"Hmm, probably." He released her, rubbing his palms across her back before spinning her around and pulling her close again. "That's better, all gone." Rose briefly glanced across the snow covered lawn to see Tony grinning and searching the ground. Assured that he was fine she looked back up at the Doctor, running her tongue along her teeth as she smiled. "Really wish I had some mistletoe right now."
Softly laughing, Rose shifted to wrap her arms around his neck, absentmindedly playing with the material of his scarf. For a moment she took in the multi-coloured stripes and was reminded of a particularly similar one he'd claimed to love so much as one of his previous incarnations. "Knew you still loved it." Lost in thought she began to mumble, remembering the look of joy on his face when she'd stumbled across it and told him it was gorgeous. "Same man and all that." She found herself increasingly excited for the growth of their TARDIS when she could raid the wardrobe once more and steal that scarf like she used to. "You know, I'm definitely borrowing the stripy scarf from the TARDIS when it's grown."
He smiled. "If you like it that much it's yours. Looks better on you anyway."
"Wouldn't say that; you'd better keep that one though." He nodded and Rose grinned. "And you don't need mistletoe."
"You have no idea how much I want to kiss those lips of yours right now." He brought a hand up to her cheek and Rose rather hoped he would do just as he wanted. She expectantly tilted her chin up a little, waiting for the warmth of his lips against hers and closing her eyes as he drew her closer. As if distracted by the very fact she was breathing he stilled, holding himself just an inch away from her as if waiting for her to make a move. Rose opened her eyes, smiling as she took in his expression; he was completely transfixed on her, a hint of a smile on his lips as he watched her breath form clouds in the cold winter air. Gradually he shifted his gaze upwards across her features until her eyes met his.
"Then just kiss…" He covered her mouth with his own and cut her off, deepening the kiss as her eyes drifted shut. "Me." Rose kissed him back, arms wrapping tighter round his neck. "I love you; no need for mistletoe."
Face held up against hers he pressed a kiss to the corner of her mouth. "So beautiful." He began to lean in again but suddenly withdrew, looking down at his side where Tony was tugging at his coat. Lowering a hand to ruffle the child's hair, the Doctor couldn't resist smiling at the slight pout on his face. "Smile, Tiger."
"I thought we were making a snowman!" He reached up to the Time Lord, grinning when he was picked up. "I found some pebbles." He held out his palm to show six small stones.
"Okay, okay." The Doctor stepped closer to the snowman, letting Tony add the rest of the features to it.
Rose pulled the TARDIS blue hat off the Doctor's head and placed it on the snowman. "It's definitely still missing something." She leant her head against him, smiling as he kissed the side of her head.
"Concentrate on the snowman!" Tony poked the Doctor's cheek to regain his attention. "You keep getting distracted."
He grinned. "Sorry, Tiger. I just love Rose very much, you know that; you'll understand one day."
The boy rolled his eyes but smiled when he saw the grin on Rose's face. "Well it needs a scarf."
"Oh, oh, I know!" The Doctor tugged at his scarf with his free hand, struggling to unravel it as he concentrated on keeping Tony balanced.
"But then you'll get cold!"
"No, no, I'll be fine." He looked the boy in the eye, wanting to reassure him. "I've got two hearts; I don't get cold as easily as you." He resumed his attempts at removing the scarf, grateful for Rose's help as she pulled it off him and draped it round the neck of the snowman. "There, perfect!"
Tony wrapped his arms around the Doctor's neck and hugged him tightly. "Thank you!" Letting go, he reached across to Rose who kissed his forehead.
The Doctor grinned at her, raising an eyebrow before returning his attention to the child in his arms. "You're welcome. Snowball fight?" He lowered him to the ground and crouched down to make a snowball.
Tony nodded but didn't look very enthusiastic, something Rose was very aware of. "Not now." She wrapped an arm around the child's shoulders and let him cuddle her legs. "Tony's freezing; I think we need to, ouch!" The Doctor's snowball hit her shoulder. "Get him inside. Stop it, I'm serious!"
"Alright." Smiling, he crouched down in front of Tony. "Let's get you in the warm. Want a ride?" He nodded and the Doctor promptly lifted him onto his shoulders. A moment later his head was covered in snow and both Rose and Tony were laughing.
Rose pressed a kiss to the Doctor's cheek. "I think that was revenge."
Two hours later Tony was jumping up and down on the sofa; now sufficiently warm and eager to open his presents, it didn't even occur to him that his mother, who he had just dragged out of bed and was collapsed on the sofa beside him, was still half asleep and had really meant it when she'd asked him to calm down. "Tony, sweetheart." She grabbed hold of his hand, pulling a red and green jumper off the back of the sofa and tugging him into her arms. "I know you're excited, just wait two more minutes and you can start opening your presents; you've got to wait for your dad." When he wriggled free and looked extremely proud of his feat, Jackie was unable to resist a smile. "Come here, put your jumper on or you'll get cold." He happily obliged and Jackie shot a surprised look across to the two-seater sofa opposite where Rose was curled up with the Doctor and profusely grinning at him. Fully aware that they were temporarily lost to the world she returned her attention to her son, finding his energy infectious. "Can I have a cuddle?" He remained grinning, practically jumping on her and was rewarded with a slight groan. "Careful, you." Nonetheless she wrapped her arms tightly around him, pressing a kiss to his cheek as he threw his arms around her neck.
"I love you, mummy."
His declaration brought a tear to her eye, for a moment she wondered if that was just because she was tired or if it could be blamed on it being Christmas, but there was only so long she could deny that it was purely because she loved him so much. "My beautiful boy." She squeezed him a little before easing him away from her so that he would look at her. "I love you, so so much."
He continued to beam at her before his attention was drawn elsewhere, his father coming strolling into the living room, a smile on his face and two mugs of tea in hand. "Daddy! Does this mean I can open my presents?" He jumped off Jackie's lap, kneeling at the other end of the end of the sofa and leaning over the arm of it. "Please!"
Pete placed the mugs on the table at the end of the sofa and carefully sat down beside his wife, gently pulling her into a cuddle. He could see in her eyes that she was feeling fragile and not just from the rude awakening that morning; she'd been rushed off her feet the past couple of weeks and constantly tired, with preparations for Christmas adding to her usual responsibilities of helping run the business and caring for Tony; regardless of how happy she looked he could tell she was shattered. He pressed a kiss to the side of her head then shifted so he could softly whisper in her ear. "I know you're tired, love. I'll do the Christmas dinner later and you can have a nap whilst I do it. The tea should wake you up a bit anyway. Oh and I love you."
The last few words brought a smile to her face. "I love you, too." She squeezed her eyes shut as the sofa shifted slightly under the force of Tony beginning to jump again.
Pete pulled the little boy down beside him, tucking him under his arm and stilling his movements. "Yes, you can open your presents now, go and pick one."
Gleefully Tony approached the Christmas tree, choosing a bright red present that was no bigger than the size of a tennis ball and had his name written across the small green tag attached to it. "Can I open this one first?" He cradled the present in his arms and flipped over the tag in search of something to tell him who it was from. "It's from the Doctor!"
Upon hearing his name the Time Lord looked away from Rose, letting her settle into his side as he watched the five year old's face light up. "Hope you like it, Tiger, I had no idea what you'd want."
Tony grinned at him, carefully climbing onto the sofa and proceeding to unwrap the gift as his family watched. Once finished he looked at the present with complete fascination, turning it round in his hands and smoothing his fingers across the flat bottom of it. "What is it? What does it do?"
"Press the button on the top." The Doctor leant forward a little, pointing at the large silver button, the only distinctive feature of the object. Quickly obliging, Tony almost dropped it when the casing opened up like a flower, revealing the irregular silver contents that contrasted with the smooth blue casing. Holding his present at arms length for a few seconds and reassuring himself that it was harmless, Tony then looked closer at it, trying to decide just what the mysterious contraption did. "Now you see the six numbered buttons around the sides?" Tony nodded. "Well if you press one then you'll see what it does, and don't worry it's definitely safe."
Pete wrapped an arm around his son. "Go on then, press it." He smiled as Tony gingerly pushed the first button, holding tightly onto his gift as light beamed out of each indent in the rounded metal device. After a second the light softened and all five of them craned their necks upwards to the ceiling, watching as the light seemed to fill every inch of the room. "It's snow." He laughed a little in disbelief as the image shifted and the hologram produced snow began to fall. Rubbing his wife's arm, he pressed a kiss to the top of her head and she softly sighed, nestling into him a little more. He smiled, content in knowing she was feeling relaxed and happy. "Wow, now that's a present and a half."
Tony was now beaming, watching the fake snow fall around them, occasionally reaching out a hand as if he could catch the flakes. "Thank you, Doctor, it's just, wow!"
His words fell on deaf ears as the Doctor continued to gaze at Rose, loving the smile on her face at not only the snow effect but also the grin on her brother's face. When he pressed a kiss to her temple she turned towards him and met his lips with hers. "You've done brilliantly." She nudged his nose with hers.
"Oh it gets better." He turned his attention back to the overjoyed child. "The other five buttons project different scenes. But you can try them out later. Just press the button on top to stop it, and again to shut it."
He closed the projector and delicately placed it on the table next to his mother where it wouldn't get damaged. "Thank you!" He bounded over to the Doctor, reaching to hug him as he was lifted up. "It's amazing!"
"You're welcome, Tiger." He hugged him back. "Glad you love it." He lowered Tony back onto the floor and watched him run back across to his mother and curl up on the sofa beside her.
"Trust you." Jackie laughed. "You've probably just outdone all of us put together with one gift. Honestly, I can't believe you made that, well except I can believe it because that's the kind of crazy thing you're good at."
The Doctor raised an eyebrow at her. "I think that was a compliment, sort of, so thanks. Nevertheless you shouldn't doubt the brilliance of your own presents. Here, let me hand everything out." Reluctantly slipping his arm from round Rose's waist he stood and swiftly distributed the presents into piles by their recipients, before returning to Rose's side, the last present in hand. Gripping the present tightly in both hands he looked across at Jackie. "I don't know if you wanted some kind of order for opening them or what, but I kind of like everyone to open theirs at their own pace."
"Sounds great." She nodded her head with a smile before leaning back against Pete, a cuddle feeling more welcoming than any present given her weariness.
Satisfied, the Doctor pulled Rose close again and held the final gift up before her. Gently taking it from him, she looked at the swirling gold wrapping paper then back up to him; she could see on his face that he'd thought about every detail when wrapping it. "I know I should just wait." He couldn't stop himself smiling. "But please open this first. I, well, this was meant to be your present years ago, in the other Universe, well actually so are some of the others because it felt wrong not to be buying the woman I love presents for Christmas, not to mention her birthday, but that's another story." He looked down for a moment before running a hand through his hair and lifting his gaze back to her. The smile on her face made him relax; he twisted round to face her, bringing his legs up underneath him. "But this I already had ready for you before you, before we were, well, separated. Hence the multiple tags." He raised a hand to her hair, tucking a stray strand behind her ear. "I actually wrote one when it was ready, then one that Christmas, and one this Christmas."
She grinned. "I actually sort of did the same; I mean, well, knowing you not quite the same, but I always bought for you even though you weren't here. You'll see."
"Glad I thought to bring them when I was getting ready to come to this universe then." He smiled.
"Me too." She looked back to the present. "Why this paper then? Don't pretend that it wasn't a deliberate choice."
"Sort of reminded me of you; the gold made me think of your hair but the swirling pattern then made me think Bad Wolf. Silly, I know."
"Not silly!" She softly kissed him. "It's gorgeous and wonderful, and you know I love the thought you put into little things."
He grinned, reaching over to give her hand a squeeze. "Open it then, I don't think I can wait any longer."
She shook her head. "I want to read the tags first." She flipped over the first one and began to read.
For my beautiful Rose,
Here's hoping that this year's proves less dramatic than last year's, I'm looking forward to it already; another day with you.
Oh, and never forget how completely in love with you I am.
The note made her grin, even though it brought tears to her eyes to think that so soon afterwards he would have been heartbroken and without her. When she felt the Doctor's hand on her face she was drawn out of her thoughts. He was watching her intensely. "No tears." He brushed them away, kissing her before she could move onto the next tag; this one a dark blue that vastly contrasted with the gold of the first that matched the wrapping paper.
Hope you have a merry Christmas with your family.
Wish you were here; it's not the same without you.
I miss you more with each day that passes and it breaks my hearts that I still can't find a way back to you.
I still believe in you and am still very much in love with you, more so than ever if that's possible.
Still forever yours,
Rose pulled him close and kissed him hard, hoping that somehow the broken him that wrote that message would feel her love and keep that faith. "I love you, Doctor, always have and always will." She felt a tear run down her cheek but made no attempt to stop it.
His lips curled upwards against hers as he kissed her back with just as much fervour. "I love you too. Just don't let that get to you." He pointed at the cardboard tag. "Yes I missed you but that pain's gone now, you took it all away when you got back to me."
Rose smiled. "Oh I hope this last one doesn't make me want to cry, because if it does I definitely will." He smiled, letting her take her time to read the last one, brightly coloured like the first.
My beautiful, impossible Rose,
Thank you once again for never giving up on me and fighting for our forever, I'm endlessly thankful and I hope this demonstrates even a fraction of how much.
Whilst I can't even begin to explain how much I love you, know that I am most sincerely and completely, forever and always, unconditionally, irrevocably and unashamedly in love with you.
Leaning into him and pressing her face into his neck, Rose smiled, trying to suppress the tears she could feel were beginning to fall. "You never cease to amaze me with your beautiful words."
"Hey." He almost laughed. "I said 'no tears', I don't care if they're happy ones."
"Sorry." She sniffed, drying her eyes as she grinned at him. "Can't help it. Can I open it now then?"
He nodded. "Yeah."
Rose began to unwrap the present unusually carefully, treating the paper like it wasn't just coloured gold but made of the metal itself. "Call me soppy if you like but I'm gonna keep the tags, and the paper."
"Not soppy, sentimental."
Pausing to smile at him, she finished unwrapping the gift and pushed the paper aside as she opened her mouth in disbelief. For a moment she just stared at the leather bound book, the rich brown of the cover made it look old but the lack of wear on it suggested otherwise. Rose ran her fingers over the cover, wondering how it could feel so old and yet so new at the same time. The gold text on the front only added to her adoration, the swirling circular patterns of Gallifreyan indicating a title of some description. "That says 'Gallifrey' doesn't it?" Rose lifted her gaze to see the smile playing on his lips grow until he was beaming at her. He nodded and a grinning Rose threw her arms around his neck, pressing her face into his shoulder. "It's beautiful, whatever's inside, it's just beautiful. I love it, thank you, Doctor."
He eased her away from him. "Open it, take a look." She flicked through the pages; they were all filled with Gallifreyan words and various diagrams and drawings. Each new chapter made her smile widen; in the back of her mind she could feel the loving hum of the Doctor's mind, her awareness increasing as he became evermore lost in the moment with her and lost all thought of anything but her. Gently he pressed his forehead to hers. "I wrote it for you; it's all about Gallifrey, the history, landscapes, cultures and nature, anything I could think of. And I know I wrote it in Gallifreyan but look, you're already able to read some and I thought I could read it with you, talk about the things in it and teach you more of the language."
Lost for words, Rose resorted to actions, tenderly kissing him for a lingering moment. As tears began to prick her eyes she wrapped him in her arms again, holding him tightly for a long minute in the search of some words that might show how much she loved the gift. Finally she withdrew, holding his face between her hands. "I'm going to treasure this forever." He reached up to wipe away her tears, smiling at her in the hope of making her smile back, she did. "I love you so much. Thank you for sharing so much with me, your life, your past, your home planet. I am completely in love with you, always will be."
As he leant in to kiss her they were drawn out of their intimate moment. Jackie had been helping Tony open his presents and wanted to involve them both with the rest of the family; she hadn't even looked back at them since the Doctor had handed Rose the gift, and was completely unaware that she was even interrupting anything. "What is it, sweetheart?"
Rose looked back at the book again, grinning before turning to her mother. "He wrote me a book all about Gallifrey, his home planet."
She smiled, thinking it a novel gesture but nothing more. "Sounds lovely, like you put some thought into it, Doctor."
He pulled Rose into a cuddle, smiling as she slipped one arm around him and nestled closer. He didn't mind that Jackie didn't understand it, in fact he rather loved it and it made him grin to know that it was such a personal gift. He could spend many more hours bonding with her over Gallifreyan and he couldn't wait for the day when she was fluent and they'd be the only two people in the Universe to understand that too.