A/N: IMPORTANT NOTE:
This takes place in the Destiny series, but I've gone backwards. This is around eight months before The Debt, placing it between Destiny and The Debt. Here's the summary for Destiny to get that memory working:
After series 4, everything happens as normal except the metacrisis and Rose stay on the TARDIS with the Doctor. After the metacrisis dies saving Rose, the Doctor decides to admit his feelings to her, and they begin an intimate relationship.
A few months later the Doctor falls ill, diagnosed with "Venusian Flu". But it is soon revealed that he is misdiagnosed, and his illness (only controlled with a medicine he takes morning and evening) is due to the fact Rose is pregnant, and he is getting the symptoms.
After some intense whumping from the Master, he's eventually defeated. Rose gives birth, and the Doctor feels the more severe than normal contractions as well. They name the girl Leah, and Jackie, still in the parallel world, communicates through the Universes on the TARDIS monitor through a slight gap between the universes to see her new granddaughter only a day old.
Jack, Ianto, Gwen, Mickey and Martha all work at Torchwood. Children of Earth hasn't happened yet. Martha is still with Tom at the beginning of this story, but I expect she'll meander somewhere in the middle.
Therefore, the story order is now:
3. The Debt
4. Mother's Nature
Geddit? Let's go! :D
Chapter 1 – It's Kissmas! Part One
It was Christmas Eve in Torchwood, and the sound of the TARDIS erupted in the Hub at around 6pm. Ten seconds later the door opened and the Doctor stepped out, and was instantly greeted by Father Christmas standing there, all dressed up and looking very merry indeed.
"Merry Christmas!" Father Christmas boomed, arms akimbo, bouncing on his heels with his large and suspiciously soft belly bobbing up and down.
The Doctor stopped dead in surprise, staring at him, looking quite confused. "... Hello, Santa," he finally said, raising an eyebrow.
"Hello, Doctor!" Father Christmas replied happily. "Where is little Leah?"
"She's, err..." He gestured vaguely behind himself with a thumb, and stared a little more at Father Christmas. "... What are you doing, Jack?"
"I'm not Jack, I'm Father Christmas!" the man told him enthusiastically, and the TARDIS door swung open again to reveal Rose standing there with two-year-old Leah beside her, holding her hand.
Rose snorted with laughter at the sight of Santa, as Leah let go of her hand and moved forward to greet this strange new man.
"Hello, I'm Father Christmas!" Father Christmas said in a deep voice. "And you must be little Leah! Have you been good this year, Leah?"
Leah blinked slightly, looking up at her parents, her mother was obviously trying not to burst out laughing whilst her father stood there with his arms folded with an eyebrow raised. She then looked back at Father Christmas, and frowned slightly. "Unka Jack?" she asked.
Her mum squeaked a little more, trying desperately not to laugh out loud.
"I'm not Uncle Jack, I'm Father Christmas!" he told her happily.
"No, you Unka Jack," Leah insisted.
"No, it's Father Christmas!" the Doctor suddenly said, bounding forward to stand in front of the holiday man himself, shaking his hand with both of his, vigorously. "Oh, this is such an honour, sir! I thought you'd have been busy with all the presents!"
"Yeah!" Rose continued. "I mean all the way from Lapland just for Leah? You're so great!"
"Well, I couldn't go this Christmas without seeing my favourite girl in the world!" Father Christmas replied happily, ruffling Leah's hair.
She patted it down, indignant. "Can I ask a questin', peas?" Leah wondered.
"Anything for little Leah!" Father Christmas told her, bending down onto one knee in front of her. He probably would have fallen over if the Doctor hadn't surreptitiously caught him.
"How you go all round a world in one night?"
"That's a very good question, Leah!" Father Christmas boomed. "My reindeer pull my sled so fast you can't even see me!"
"So you go... umm... round a round like a light?"
"Yes, I do!" Father Christmas replied happily.
"Can I ask 'nover questin, peas?"
"How you do all a planets? Or is it just my mummy's planet? Can you do a round a round all over like a light? Cos that not puzzle-ball."
Father Christmas blinked slightly. "Well, umm..."
"This is the Earth Father Christmas," the Doctor input from the side. "There's a whole load of them, every planet has their own special Father Christmas, Leah."
"But..." Leah began again, forehead furrowed as she tried to work it out. "We not live on Mummy's planet. So how you know me? I could be 'nover place when you go round a round."
"Me and your Mum have signed you up to the Earth Father Christmas," the Doctor told her.
"But what if I not here? I not get peasants."
"Then this Earth Father Christmas will refer you to an overseas Father Christmas..." the Doctor replied, glancing at Father Christmas.
"Exactly!" Father Christmas said, still merrily beaming away.
"Oh. So you get a pennies," Leah said. "You have a onion?"
"An onion?" Father Christmas repeated, confused.
"I think she means a union," the Doctor stage whispered.
"Do I have a union?" Father Christmas clarified, and Rose couldn't hold in her laugh any longer, burying her head into the Doctor's coat and shaking with the effort to suppress it. "Well, no, Leah, we Father Christmas' don't get paid, we do it for the happiness we feel giving presents to children like you!"
"But what 'bout the um... um... the helpings fings. The elves. They get a pennies?"
Father Christmas pursed his lips. "They do it for the happiness too, Leah!"
"But that not fair," she protested. "They work all days to make peasants and not get paid a mim-nini-mum pennies, and you only work one days and, and that's not fair."
"Well I'll be sure to bring that to the next Elves Worker's Union meeting..." Father Christmas assured her.
"But..." Leah began again, still frowning.
"Oh, look at the time!" Father Christmas suddenly exclaimed, consulting an imaginary watch and getting to his feet with the aid of the Doctor. "I've really got to go! Good bye Leah, Doctor, Rose! Have a merry Christmas!"
And with that, Father Christmas waddled as fast as he could out of the Hub.
"Well that was nice of Father Christmas to pay a visit, wasn't it?" the Doctor asked Leah brightly, smiling.
Leah nodded, if a little absently, reaching up to take her daddy's hand. Rose had only just managed to stop laughing, still holding onto the Doctor and giggling uncontrollably.
"Come on, let's say hello to everyone," he said, leading her to the sitting area across the room where everyone else had been watching the exchange with loony grins on their faces.
"Hello, Leah!" they all chorused.
"Hello," Leah replied simply as her dad lifted her up and sat her down on the sofa, and then dropped down next to her. She clambered onto his lap, sucking her thumb and staring around at everyone. Then, a couple of seconds later she caught sight of the Christmas tree, giggled in delight and slid off her dad's lap to go to it.
"Don't wreck the tree!" the Doctor called, but Leah was already trying to climb up it to get to the angel on top, so he rapidly jumped up and jogged over to her, plucking her off of the dangerous leaning tree. Instead of crying, Leah got a little annoyed at that and tried to use him as a ladder to get to the top of the tree. They ended up having a small struggle until the Doctor ended up falling backwards onto the floor with a toddler sprawled on his chest.
The others laughed at that, just as the Hub door rolled back and Jack reappeared, dressed back in his usual attire. Instantly Leah lost interest in her dad and the tree, getting to her feet and toddling as fast as she could towards her uncle where he met her in a huge hug.
"Uncle Jack, Santa come!" she told him with a beaming smile.
"Oh, really?" Jack replied, grinning at the others across the room. "I hope you were nice to him."
"Yeah!" she assured him with a beaming smile, just as the TARDIS suddenly made a vworping sound, alerting the Doctor to something. He glanced at Rose, then got onto his feet and ran into the blue box.
"And you didn't ask him any difficult questions?" Jack continued.
"Course not," Leah replied innocently. Jack just laughed and lifted up the little girl, sitting her in the crook of his arm and carried her back over to the others to sit on the sofa beside Rose.
"Shouldn't you all be somewhere else?" Rose wondered suddenly, looking at everyone else gathered there. "Like, with family and stuff?"
"You are our family," Jack said seriously, kissing the two-year-old he held affectionately on the forehead. She beamed and kissed him in return on the cheek.
"We all had our Christmases a few days ago," Martha assured her.
"We wanted to be here to see you," Mickey told her, smiling.
Rose smiled broadly in return. "Thank you."
"Rose," suddenly came a call from the direction of the TARDIS, and everyone looked up to find the Doctor standing there hovering over the threshold. "It's your mum."
"Rose and Leah are just coming," the Doctor told the image of Jackie on the TARDIS screen. The picture was wavering and occasionally completely pixelating with the bad connection.
"I 'ope you're lookin' after them!" she told him sternly, and the Doctor was relieved to find her eyes of death were slightly less effective when she was on a screen with a failing connection.
"Of course I am," he replied indignantly.
"I know you, you've got 'em traipsing 'round the Universe screamin' for their lives!"
"I've cut that down to three times a week," the Doctor muttered sarcastically, but thankfully before Jackie could react, Rose appeared beside him, holding Leah.
"Hey, Mum," Rose said, smiling.
"Hello, sweetheart, and hello Leah!" Jackie said happily, smiling in return. "How are you two?"
"We're fine!" Rose replied, and then looked at Leah. "Say hello to your granny, Leah."
"Hello," she said, waving and smiling, but mostly looking confused.
"Leah?" the Doctor wondered, looking at her confused expression. "You remember granny, don't you?"
Leah looked at him, then back at the screen. "Yeah. Hi, Granny, how you?"
"I'm fine, thanks, Leah," Jackie replied with a beaming smile. "Your Daddy tells me it's Christmas?"
"Yeah," Leah replied, nodding. "Not Kissmas for you, Granny?"
"No," Jackie answered. "It's July here!"
"Oh, I'm sorry," Leah said seriously.
Jackie laughed at her incredibly apologetic tone. "That's okay, sweetheart. I hope you get lots and lots of presents."
"Yeah," Leah assured her, beaming with her hand twisting in her shirt. "Santa came and I was nice to him so he get me lots of peasants. I fink."
Suddenly the screen blipped in its picture, and the pixelation got worse.
"Sorry, Jackie, we're losing you," the Doctor said, trying to adjust the connection but it didn't seem to be having any effect.
Jackie nodded at that. "You 'ave a really good Christmas, Leah, okay sweetheart? I love you all."
"We love you too, Granny," Rose said, sounding a little quiet.
"Bye, Rose love. You take care of yourself. You too Leah, don't you two let Daddy mess you about, all right?"
Leah was still smiling broadly. "No, he's not. Bye, Granny," she said, waving.
"Bye, Granny," the Doctor said, waving as well.
"Bye, Mum," Rose muttered.
The picture fizzled out, and Jackie was gone for another few months at least until another connection could be made to the parallel world.
The Doctor looked at Rose, then at Leah. "Why were you looking so confused?"
"She all time on TARD-y screen, Daddy," Leah pointed out, her brow furrowing again as she pointed at the monitor. "Does she live in there?"
He laughed. "No, Leah."
"Okay," she replied, as if that answered every question she could possibly ever have on the subject. "I'm hungry."
"How about you run back into Torchwood and demand some food from Uncle Jack?" the Doctor suggested.
"Okay!" Leah replied happily, dropping out of her Mum's arms and running back out the door. The moment she was gone, the Doctor turned to Rose and gathered her into a much-needed hug, kissing her.
"Okay?" he asked.
"Yeah," Rose muttered, but didn't move away from the hug. "I just miss her."
"I know," he replied, kissing her again. "I'm sorry."
Rose looked at him. "Oh, don't be like that, we went through this already. Not your fault, yeah? Now c'mon, we've got Christmas," she flipped to a broad smile, pulling back and wiping with the cuff of her sleeve at unfallen tears. "You clear on the plan?"
"Yep," the Doctor nodded. "And let's not get Leah to leave out mince pies for Santa, they did a fit in my stomach last time."
It turned out Jack's food plan was to have everything the Doctor had in the TARDIS and hang out in the big living room. Thankfully the Doctor had thought to stock up on food just a few weeks before so they were drowned in snacks and drinks with the big TV currently on BBC Two.
"Where is Santa now, Daddy?" Leah asked, indicating the atlas open on the table amongst in the throng of conversations everyone was having between themselves.
"Ooo, err..." He checked the time, pulling the atlas onto his lap. "7 o'clock... He's probably just finished the east side of Africa and is going back up north; Ukraine, I reckon," he told her, indicating the country with his finger.
"We get Santa's food all done now?" she asked.
"Yep," the Doctor replied, closing the atlas and getting off the sofa, before taking Leah's hand to lead her into the kitchen.
"Milk and minz pie," Leah demanded, pulling open the cupboard to get the box of mince pies.
"Oh, I don't think Santa really likes mince pies, Leah," the Doctor told her seriously.
"Yes, he does," Leah insisted, stretching on her tip-toes to try and reach the box.
"Uncle Jack had a chat earlier with him on the way out, apparently he's not big on mince pies," the Doctor told her after he'd poured the milk, moving to the cupboard to look through. "Who knew that! Oh, you know what he'd absolutely love?"
He pulled out a packet of banana chip biscuits, his eyes suddenly glowing with pure delight.
Leah stared at him. "Are you sure?"
"Very," the Doctor assured her, taking out about six from the packet and moving to the plate on the table.
"He not get mad at me?" Leah demanded of him.
"Oh, definitely not!" the Doctor replied, considering the six on the plate, then the packet in his hand. After a few moments he shrugged and pushed out the entire contents of the packet onto the plate. "There. That'll make him very, very happy!"
"Okay," she said, reaching up to take the plate of twenty biscuits as her dad took the glass of milk. They carried them back into the living room where everyone was still chatting and laughing.
"Oh, no mince pie for Santa this year?" Martha wondered, noticing them.
"Yeah, you were talking to him earlier, weren't you, Jack?" the Doctor said, staring at the ex-Time Agent in question. "Said he didn't like mince pies."
"Oh yeah!" Jack agreed, nodding. "He doesn't like mince pies. Spends days on the toilet afterwards!"
Leah giggled at that, making sure the plate and glass were in precisely the right place on the table.
"But he really likes banana chip cookies," the Doctor said seriously, staring at the plate.
"He really does," Rose agreed, gazing at the plate stacked with a mountain of biscuits.
"Where is Santa now, Daddy?" Leah asked, gazing up at him.
"Let's have a look," the Doctor said, dropping onto the sofa and picking up the atlas once more. "Oh, he's probably gone north, now, up in Finland," he said, pointing at the map. "He'll be down in Europe soon, you'd better get to bed."
"Okay," she said, reaching up to be taken. He obliged.
"Night night," Leah said to the others, giving a wave.
"Night, Leah!" they all chorused.
"Daddy, Mummy," Leah began as they tucked her up into bed ten minutes later.
"Yeah?" the Doctor asked.
"What the bestest Kissmas you had?"
"Hmm," the Doctor considered that for a moment. "Need to think about that. Mum?" he asked, looking at Rose.
"Oh, easy. Mine was the Christmas that Daddy regenerated," Rose replied, smiling broadly. "I didn't really understand regeneration so when Daddy changed his face I didn't really know what was happening. Also he was so tall and bony and like a piece of paper..."
Leah giggled and the Doctor had a look of mock affront.
"But then we saved the world, and we stood outside in the evening on Christmas Day, holding hands, looking up to the stars. Then I fell in love with your Daddy all over again, and I realised I wanted to be with him forever."
"Aww," the Doctor said, grinning and leaning forward to kiss her.
"Daddy?" Leah asked.
"Me? Oh, well, it was two years ago, you were two-months-old. We took you back to Torchwood to see Uncle Jack and everyone. You were so little and wide-eyed, and when I said your name you looked up at me... you'd recognised your name. Your little eyes blinked a few times and locked on mine and you smiled this beautiful little smile... It was the first time you'd looked at me like that, and right then, everything became so clear to me. I knew that you were the most precious thing in the universe and I was never going to let you ever be sad. Then of course Uncle Jack ran in like an idiot, ruined the moment completely, and you started crying because he scared you. But that was my favourite Christmas."
Leah looked at him and smiled, and he grinned in return and kissed her, hugging her tightly for a few moments before finally forcing himself to pull away and allow Rose to say good night.
"Night," Leah told them both as her mum tucked her in.
"Goodnight, sleep well," Rose said, giving her a final kiss before both parents left out the door.
"Oi!" the Doctor interrupted as he found Jack tucking into the stack of banana chip biscuits, marching over and yanking the plate away from him. "They're for Santa only."
"Sorry, Santa," Jack replied, grinning as the Doctor began to munch his way through the mountain. "So what's tonight's plan?"
"I'm going to get up at three and..." the Doctor began through a mouthful of biscuit, spraying crumbs everywhere.
Rose quickly slammed a hand onto his mouth. "He's gonna get up at three and get the presents from whatever secret place he put them, put everythin' under the tree and in the stockings, come back to bed, wake me up at nine, then I'm gonna get up Leah while the Doctor sorts breakfast then we'll eat, then open the presents at around ten in here."
"I'll be there," Jack assured them, and then suddenly noticed something on the table. "Ooo! Hypervodka!"
"He noticed it. You owe me a fiver," Rose said, grinning and digging her partner in the ribs with her elbow.
Everyone laughed at that, except for Jack, who didn't seem to notice as a shot of Hypervodka was already heading down his throat.