Welcome to the Christmas special chapter! Please note that the artist for this song isn't the original, but it is my favorite version, so I encourage you to go take a listen. It is, in fact, a Christmas song!
Song: Baby Please Come Home (Anberlin)
River trudged through the snow as she made her way back to the lodge that she had been staying in. Several weeks ago she had heard rumors of something out of the ordinary in this area, so naturally she had to investigate. The locals had called it a yeti, but so far all she had found were deserted caves and deep snow. She had driven up here in a rented snowmobile, but it had long since broken down, leaving her to trudge home through a storm that was on the verge of becoming a blizzard.
She was absolutely miserable. This whole expedition was looking like a waste of time. Finally, though, she scaled a snow bank to see the warm, inviting lights of the lodge shining not far away. River sighed with relief as she ventured toward it.
In about ten minutes she was in the comfort of the warm lodge. There seemed to be a lot of commotion coming from one of the main rooms, so as she was walking by on the way to her room, she decided to take a peek. Inside, people were laughing and dancing, all having a good time. A quick look at the sign outside of the door confirmed that this was the lodge's annual Christmas party. At first, River was slightly surprised at herself. After all, she hadn't known it was Christmas here. She didn't usually pay attention to holidays unless she wanted to celebrate for a specific reason. When you can travel to any day at any time, holidays don't seem as extraordinary.
But the more she looked at the faces of all the happy people in the room, the more she realized that she hadn't had a proper holiday in quite a long time. At this, she made the decision that she would join the party and at least try to have some fun. First, though, she went to her room to change into something more suitable for a party. Even when she was on an expedition like this, River Song would always pack a dress, just in case.
Before walking down to the party, River paused in front of the full-length mirror next to the door. She sighed as she stared at her reflection. There was something wrong. There was something missing. Or, rather, there was someone missing. Even though she had just discovered it was Christmas only minutes before, she couldn't help but feel the loneliness creeping up on her. What was the point in celebrating if you had no one to celebrate with?
All of a sudden, she didn't feel like partying anymore. Instead, she just sat down at the foot of her bed and began to plan her expedition for the next day. She had closed the curtains the previous day after discovering that the windows had an awful draft, but she could still hear the wind every time it swept past the lodge, making a whooshing sound. Every time this happened, the curtains would rustle slightly, catching the air that flowed through the drafty windows.
Now, though, the curtains seemed to be moving constantly with the wind from the storm outside. River paid no attention to it, though, as she was focused on her expedition, trying her hardest not to think about the holiday. However, this was getting progressively harder, considering the party music was now audible through the walls of her room. Suddenly, though the whooshing became louder, and the curtains flew inward like there were no windows behind them at all. As a few snowflakes flew into her room, River looked up to see what could have caused such a gust.
There, shivering on the windowsill, was the Doctor, the TARDIS parked several feet behind him. "C-can I come in?" he asked.
"Of course!" River said, rushing forward to help him in and close the window behind him. After sitting him down next to her on the foot of the bed, she asked, "How did you know to come here?"
The Doctor smiled. "It's Christmas. You don't think I'd let you be alone on Christmas, do you?"
"But how did you know that I just happened to travel somewhere at Christmas. It's not like I was aiming for it or anything."
He shifted uncomfortably, "Lucky guess?" She fixed him with a look of disbelief before he finally said, "Okay, okay, I've sort of been… keeping an eye on you?"
"What do you mean?" she asked, raising an eyebrow.
Now he was blushing, looking down at his hands with a guilty smile. "Last time I saw you I put a tracking device on your vortex manipulator while you were asleep." He paused for a moment, chuckling at her mock-anger. "When I saw that it was Christmas here—where you were—I-well, I couldn't help but visit."
For a moment River wasn't sure whether to scold him for tracking her every move or just be glad that he was here. Eventually, she decided on the latter. It was Christmas, after all. "Oh, you beautiful idiot!" she said, wrapping her arms around him and burrowing her face into his chest.
"Oh-well… okay!" the Doctor said, placing his arms around her. He had been expecting her to slap him, but this was a welcome surprise. They sat there in silence for a moment before he said, "Hang on, is that music?"
"Yes, they're having a Christmas party down the hall. That's why I'm dressed like this," River said, motioning to her apparel. "I was thinking about going, but then I decided against it. There's no point in going by myself."
The Doctor's face brightened as he jumped up. "Well, now you don't have to!"
"What?" River asked. "You really want to go to some silly party?"
"Of course I do! It's Christmas!" At this he held out his hand to her. "What do you say?"
After thinking for a moment, she smiled and nodded, taking his hand and allowing him to escort her to the party. Surprisingly, it was a little less crowded than when she had peeked in earlier. Still, the music was louder, even if it was slower.
The Doctor wasted no time in pulling her onto the dance floor as he placed his arms around her waist and she wrapped hers around his neck. As the songs came and went, River noticed that they had been moving closer and closer to the center of the floor. Finally, when they reached it, River discovered why.
The Doctor leaned in close to her until his face was less than an inch away from hers. "Look up," he whispered, just loud enough to be heard over the music.
As she glanced up, she noticed a tuft of green hanging from the tip of the disco ball that had been illuminating the room. She recognized it at once: mistletoe. "What a coincidence," River laughed.
He hadn't moved since he'd whispered to her, his face still right in front of hers. She closed the distance between them, pressing her lips to his as they stopped their rhythmic sway to comply with the rules of the mistletoe. They stayed like that for as long as they could before a man dancing with a girl beside them cleared his throat, indicating that he would like a turn. The Doctor smiled and blushed at they moved aside, clearing the middle of the floor.
They began to dance again, River resting her head on the Doctor's shoulder. After a while, he leaned down to whisper something into her ear. "Merry Christmas."
Soon all the other dancers had gone, leaving them alone. But they didn't care, nor did they stop. In fact, they didn't decide to go back to River's room until the music was turned off and they were asked to leave.
The exhausted pair laughed as they walked back to the room, hand-in-hand. When they walked through the door, though, River's expression became slightly more serious. "Doctor?"
"Thank you," all humor was gone from her face now.
"For what?" he asked.
"For coming for Christmas."
He laughed at this, catching her slightly by surprise. "Oh, my River Song," he said, pulling her closer to him, "no one should ever be alone on Christmas."
Merry Christmas (or happy holidays)! Your spectacular reviews would be the best gift in the world!