A/N: Hallo! Welcome to the fourth installment of my third(!) OC series, the Heart of Time Saga, Fading. I recommend new readers check out the first three stories of the saga (A Treasured Discovery, Meeting of the Minds, and Hearts to Hearts) to really understand who my OC is, her unique abilities, and where she is in her relationship with the Doctor. This will be a Doctor/OC series, (the pairing title officially voted as Thella!) featuring my OC The Angel, AKA the Time Lady Nella, a woman with quite a few gifts she's only just starting to explore.
As a treat for readers, if we ever make it through 100 reviews, for each hundred I will post a 'sneak peek' of something happening later in Series 4. If we happen to make it to 500(!), then I'll give a one line teaser for something monumental that will be happening in the NEXT story for the 10-Specials :) On the 15th of May I will also be posting a 'sneak peek' of the BBC's Robin Hood story (Robin/OC) I will eventually be working on, introducing my OC.
Quick physical description: Angel, currently on her 10th incarnation, is a tall woman with long, brilliant red hair that she tends to wear in a braid that hangs over her shoulder and warm, chocolate brown eyes with specks of gold in them that the Doctor loves referring to as 'dark hot chocolate with golden sprinkles.' She tends to wear dark blue (-cough- TARDIS blue -cough-) jeans tucked into brown boots with a white, long sleeved, knit top, that folds down on the top to be off the shoulder. However she does love dressing up in period style clothing for trips like that. I see her as looking something like Elena Satine with a theme song of Eternal Love by Future World Music.
Every chapter (except 'mini-sode' chapters) will be at the very least 4,000 words. I have been making it to about 5,000 so far but there may be a few that fall to 4,000 depending on how much I liked that episode (just so you have fair warning). Every episode will be broken up into three chapters that has a special title to it, so the longer episode titles (like A Good Man Goes To War, etc) will be shortened to AGMGTW to fit the title. The holiday specials however will be posted in 5 chapters since they are quite a bit longer. This story will be about 46 chapters long and will be updated EVERY DAY which should make for a YEAR of DW! Woo! :) No worries to fans of my other OC stories (The Academic Series and the Lunar Cycle) as they will also be updated along with this one when Series 7 finishes airing.
One more quick announcement...I have often found myself disappointed by how little the old companions of New Who were included in each new series. So, taking that into my own hands, we'll be getting a lot more of them, whether mentions of them or actually meeting them. In fact...I'm planning for all of them to show up at least once per series in some way (except Rose, sort of hard to do with a parallel world and possibly Donna, depends how Journey's End goes...) :) For instance, this story of the saga will have a Torchwood-crossover chapter! We're gonna get more of Jack! Readers may recall that Jack has become like an older brother to my OC Angel, and she NEEDS to meet Ianto doesn't she? I won't say when it's coming or what episode of Torchwood it will fall on, but we WILL get it :)
~8~ is a scene break
'italics' is telepathic communication between the Doctor and Angel
'...words...' or ...action... is Angel hearing/seeing the future
Disclaimer 1: I do not own Doctor Who...though I secretly think I share a brain with the writers (-cough- the Professor/Gunslinger -cough-)
Disclaimer 2: My OC is in no way associated with any DW stories that might also have a Time Lady named The Angel.
Voyage of the Damned: The Titanic
The Doctor and Angel ran to the console, quickly hitting various controls, watching as the walls of the TARDIS closed, pushing the ship out. They then got to work materializing the TARDIS inside the ship. The Doctor stepped out and looked around at the small space they'd landed in, a supply closet, before holding the door open for Angel to step out first, ever the gentleman. They headed out of the room and into a wood paneled one, decorated with potted palms and Christmas decorations, a reception area it seemed. People garbed in early 20th century dress milled around as waiters passed hor d'ouveres and champagne around. A band in another room was playing a slow version of Jingle Bells. The Doctor walked over to two golden angels in white when they twitched mechanically, robots.
"I hate robots," Angel remarked as she eyed them, now wary of wherever they were, "They're always trying to kill us."
The only robot she liked was K9, because he was just adorable. Looking at the robots now...they made her shiver, she didn't like them. They reminded her of how she'd felt as Angela Smith, when she and the Doctor had been before the scarecrow as he fixed it. She'd just known there was something wrong with the scarecrows even as a human and this was no different. Those robots...they weren't good. They weren't right. And she didn't like them.
The Doctor reached out, sensing her unease, and took her hand, lifting it in both of his to press a kiss to the back of it, pulling her attention away from the robots and back to him. Really though, all he had to do was look at her and her attention would wander to him, as it often did. She was always aware of when he was around her, when he was near, when he was looking at her. She smiled up at him as he smiled back at her, there was a...sparkle in his eye, another one, a different one than the one she normally saw. THAT sparkle was still there, it always was, whenever he looked at her, but there was another one there too...she just...didn't know what it was for though.
"Come on," he tugged her hand, walking with her over to a window, both of them peering out at the Earth below.
"Attention all passengers," the speakers called, "The Titanic is now in orbit above Sol 3, also known as Earth. Population: Human. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Christmas."
Angel blinked, "It's Christmas again," she breathed, not too sure how she felt about that.
It was supposed to be such a joyous holiday, full of love and light and peace...but the last few Christmases she'd had...had been quite the opposite. Full of danger and anger and pain...not at all like it should be. And, though she hated to admit it as it was such a favored holiday for so many...she'd begun to find herself disliking the holiday. It wasn't that there was anything wrong with it in general...it was just...terrible things tended to happen to her on Christmas...much like terrible things always happened when she set foot in a hospital.
Which made her frown, that feeling inside her, that her next companion might be a nurse, well...how would that work? How would she even find a companion who was a nurse if, everytime she entered a hospital, things went wrong? She might reach the point where she refused to enter one just because of that fact and then where would she be? She'd have missed the opportunity to have another amazing companion.
She supposed she'd just have to 'suck it up' as the humans would say. Bear with it all, go into as many hospitals as they encountered over their travels till she found her next companion. She couldn't wait though! Mickey was so special to her, so important, and he'd grown into such a strong man which, she liked to think, might have had something to do with her friendship. She hoped to one day be able to do the same for another person, help them grow into a strong individual, a better individual, show them just how special they were.
She liked the idea of doing that.
"I know!" the Doctor cheered, "Isn't it brilliant!?"
"I suppose," she murmured, though her tone and the feelings rolling off her alerted him to the fact that, to her, it might not be quite as brilliant as to him.
He looked at her, knowing where her thoughts had gone, to Rose, to Donna, to everything that happened the last two Christmases. And he nodded to himself, this one would be different, he'd make it different. He was going to give Angel the best Christmas ever! Oh yes he was!
"Come on," he turned to lead her off, "I've got a surprise for you."
"What?" she smiled up at him.
He just grinned, "This time...we're BOTH gonna dress up."
She laughed, starting to run, pulling HIM along now. It wasn't often he offered to leave his trusty brown suit behind and she jumped at any chance she got to see him in a different outfit.
On the bridge the crew, in period uniform, with a mix of different period tech around them, were just working the controls, "Nice and steady," the captain called, "Good work, Mr. Cavill," he patted another man on the back, "And maintain position. Now then, gentlemen, according to the traditions of the planet below, Christmas is a time of celebration. I think you might be entitled to a tot of rum. Just the one. Off you go. I'll keep watch."
"Sir," Cavill saluted and walked out with a few other members. One man paused, before closing the door and facing the captain, remaining in the room.
"And you, what was it?"
"Midshipman Frame, sir," he introduced, "Only just qualified, sir. First trip out."
"Then you can stand down, Midshipman."
"Uh, but, uh...regulations say the bridge has to be staffed by two crewmembers at any one time, sir."
"Well said," the captain nodded, smiling, seemingly impressed, "Very good," Frame smiled at the praise and walked over to a bank of instruments, "It should be nice and quiet. It's only a Level 5 planet down below. They don't even know we're here. 'Silent Night,' I believe they call it," the captain's smile slowly faded, "A silent night."
"Max Capricorn Cruise Liners, the fastest, the farthest, the best," a bald man with a horrendously laughable mustache smiled at the camera, "And I should know, because my name is Max," he grinned and his golden tooth glinted before the screen returned to the cruise logo.
The Doctor looked over at Angel who was wearing an ivory colored, silk, 3/4 sleeved, floor length dress with a golden mesh over it, high waisted, with a golden bow tying in the back, her hair in its usual plait. She was truly a sight to behold, beautiful, and the colors, the white and the gold made her look every bit the angel he knew she was. The whole image would be complete if only she had wings and a halo, though he doubted anyone who met her wouldn't agree that she really was an angel incarnate.
"How do I look?" he asked her, fixing his tie.
"Oh not that suit again," she mock-moaned, when he'd said they'd both dress up, she had been hoping to see him in something other than the black suit. Anything but the black suit would have been just fine for her, "And the bowtie," she sighed, shaking her head before fixing his tie completely, "You'd best hope we don't get stuck under any mistletoe," she pointed out.
He pouted, "You wouldn't kiss me just because I'm wearing a bowtie?"
She smiled, kissing his cheek, "I didn't say THAT," she laughed, "It'll just be harder to tug you down to kiss you."
He smiled, reaching out to brush a lock of hair behind her ears as she moved to do it herself, taking her hand in the process, "You don't have to tug me down, you know. You really don't," he leaned in and kissed her softly, "I would kiss you willingly every single second for the rest of my lives," he kissed her again, deeper, leaving her quite breathless when they parted, her cheeks a bit pink as well, "You just have to look at me and I'd lean in to kiss you myself."
"I know," she whispered, resting her forehead to his, "But it's fun to be able to tug you, makes me feel special, like I've got a tiny bit of power over you."
"You have complete power over me," he told her, meaning it as he pressed the back of her hand to the center of his chest, letting her feel his hearts beating, "I live for you Nella," he breathed, staring into her eyes so she could see the truth in them, feel the promise in his words, "Everything I do, is for you. Anything you want, I'll get you. Anything you want me to do, I'll do it, no matter what. I think I proved that on the Valiant," he reminded her gently, recalling the promise she'd made him make, "I'm yours, mind, body, and soul, completely and utterly yours."
She let out a breath, feeling herself shivering at his words, seeing him staring into her eyes, into her soul, feeling his true devotion to her coursing through her. He really meant it, every single word, not just with his mind but with his hearts as well. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for her.
"Likewise," she said, her voice shaking from the overflow of emotions pouring into her. She loved this feeling, this little tingling, this trembling, this electricity, that only the Doctor had ever made her feel. She felt warm and protected and special and...happy. Just...so happy.
"I love you Nella," he kissed her once more, "More than all the stars in the Universe."
She smiled into the kiss, "I don't think I can say the same..." she admitted, looking up at him, reaching out a hand to touch his cheek as he looked at her, confused by her words, "There aren't enough stars in the Universe, throughout the whole of time and space, to express how much I love you."
He beamed at that, lifting her hand to kiss once more before tucking it into his arm and leading her towards reception.
"Merry Christmas, sir, ma'am," a steward smiled.
"Merry Christmas," they said before stepping past him and entering the ballroom where the band was playing.
"It's not a holiday for me, not while I've still got my vone," a rather snooty sounding man spat into his small communicator as they walked by, "Now do as I say and sell."
They watched as he walked off before the Doctor approached a robotic angel, making sure to stand a bit before Angel as he knew she was still uneasy around them. Angel had to smile at that, everything he did really was for her wasn't it? He probably hadn't even realized he'd moved in front of her, as though to protect her, and that was just so him.
He'd step in the way of a bullet if it meant saving someone else.
"Evening," the Doctor nodded at the robot, "Passengers 56 and 57. Terrible memory. Remind me. Uh, you would be..."
"Information: Heavenly Host supplying tourist information," it stated.
"Good, so, um...tell me, 'cos I'm an idiot, where are we from?"
"Information: the Titanic is en route from the planet Sto in the Cassavalian Belt. The purpose of the cruise is to experience primitive cultures."
"It's really called the Titanic?" Angel frowned at that, she didn't know much about a lot of things, but...she knew enough to know that the Titanic was not a ship you wanted to be on. The Doctor had told her a story once that he'd actually been on the ship...expressly stating that its sinking was NOT his fault...but remarking that it was a terrible wreck. Being on a spaceship of the same name was not shaping up to be a good omen for this Christmas either.
"Um...who...thought of the name?" the Doctor asked, actually starting to grow a bit uneasy about this as well.
"Information: it was chosen as the most famous vessel of the planet Earth,"
"Did they tell you why it was famous?"
"Information: all designations are chosen by Mr. Max Capricorn, president of Max…Max…Max…" they stepped back as the Host started to jerk its head, short circuiting.
"Ooh, bit of a glitch," the Doctor remarked, reaching into his pocket for the sonic.
"Sir, we can handle this," another steward ran forward, waving to two others for some help as they switched off the Host and carried it away, "Software problem, that's all. Leave it with us, sir, ma'am. Merry Christmas," he turned and followed the other stewards off, "That's another one down," he muttered, "What's going on with these things?"
Down in the Host storage area, the stewards dropped the Host down onto a repair table, "That's eight of them now on the blink," the steward said to an engineer, "One woman, she asked the Host to fix her necklace. It almost broke her neck...in First Class!"
"I've been over the robotics," the engineer replied, "Nothing. It's like somebody's got into them. Some kind of bug," a forklift drove by with Host parts on it, "Whoa, wait, wait, wait. Over there, Bay 15."
"Tell you what. If you can't fix them, throw them overboard!" the two men walked off in opposite directions, neither noticing the Host move its head.
In reception Angel glanced over to look at a blonde haired waitress moments before she dropped her tray of drinks, bumping into the snooty man from before, "For Tov's sake, look where you're going!" the man glared, wiping off his jacket and gesturing at it angrily, "This jacket's a genuine Earth antique."
"I'm sorry, sir," the woman fell to her knees and picked up the broken glass, her head bowed.
"You'll be sorry when it comes off your wages, sweetheart. Staffed by idiots. No wonder Max Capricorn is going down the drain," luckily though, he stalked off and left the woman alone.
"He's ruder than you," Angel murmured to the Doctor, moving over to help the woman herself as the other passengers just sneered down at her, making the woman even more conscious she was being watched than before.
"Careful," the Doctor called as he followed her to the woman's side, having seen the interaction as well, he quickly moved a shard of glass away from the woman's hand, "There we go."
"Thank you, sir," the woman smiled, "I can manage."
"Of course you can," Angel smiled, kneeling down to help too, "Doesn't mean you don't need help from time to time."
"I'm the Doctor, by the way," he introduced, "And this is my Mate, the Angel."
Angel couldn't help but blush at that. She'd noticed that SHE wasn't the only one who had seemed to have picked up a bit of a habit from their time as humans in 1913. While she tended to brush a piece of her hair behind her ears, even if there wasn't anything there to brush, the Doctor, well...ever since they'd returned form 1913, whenever he'd introduced her, he would start by calling her his Mate. She had to admit that she liked it, she liked being known as his Mate, she loved the fact that he seemed so eager and happy for others to know as well. It was also, she thought, a bit of a warning move for him. By introducing her as HIS Mate right off the bat...it kept other men away from her. It did depend on the man though, some were just kind men who chatted with anyone, those men were fine with her, some were boys or old men, and they were sweet. She supposed it was really to keep the ones who were too flirtacious for their own good, like Jack before he'd calmed down, or the ones that didn't know when to stop, from focusing on her which she was thankful for. The only man she wanted to flirt or focus on her in that way was the Doctor.
And it was endlessly sweet to hear him calling her his Mate, especially the smile he threw her afterwards, which he was doing now.
"Astrid," the waitress nodded, "Astrid Peth."
"Nice to meet you, Astrid Peth," Angel greeted, "And I hope you have a very merry Christmas."
"Merry Christmas, ma'am," Astrid looked at her, surprised at her kind words because...she could tell...the girl was genuinely being sincere, she really did wish her the best Christmas, and that was kind, far kinder than many of the other guests had been to her.
"No, no, just Angel please," she shook her head, "Just call me Angel, not 'ma'am.'"
"And I'm just 'Doctor,' not 'sir,'" the Doctor added for good measure.
"You enjoying the cruise?" Astrid asked them, nodding in acceptance of their request.
"Hmm…" the Doctor trailed, thoughtful, "Christmas…on a cruise…with my Mate…yeah, very much."
"Stop it," Angel nudged him a bit, blushing. He just gave her a peck on the lips...or three...neither seeing Astrid sigh at the action.
"Are you honeymooners?" Astrid stood.
"No, no," the Doctor laughed, standing and helping Angel up as well, "And what about you? What are you doing on the cruise? Long way from home, Planet Sto."
"Doesn't feel that different," Astrid remarked, gesturing to the tray in her hand, "I spent three years working at the spaceport diner, travelled all the way here...and I'm still waiting on tables."
"They don't let you visit the Earth?" Angel asked as they followed after her when she resumed her clearing up.
"We're not allowed," she sighed, picking up some glasses left on a table by the window, "They can't afford the insurance. I just wanted to try it, just once. I used to watch the ships heading off to the stars and I always dreamt of...it sounds daft."
"You dreamt of another sky," the Doctor nodded, "New sun, new air, new life. A whole Universe teeming with life. Why stand still when there's all that life out there?"
Astrid shook her head sharply out of her thoughts, "So...you travel a lot?"
"Oh all the time," Angel nodded, beaming at that.
It was so odd. She never thought she'd like travelling when she'd been on Gallifrey. She supposed it was because she'd always had so many responsibilities, taking care of the TARDISes. She hadn't wanted to leave them. She could pilot one remarkably well, better than many other Time Lords, but then again, she HAD had access to them for her entire life. But she'd never really wanted to leave. She'd never really ever left Gallifrey before. The Universe, while amazing, had never really...touched her the way the mystery and brilliance of the TARDISes did. She'd been content then.
But then the War came and everything changed. In such a short time she'd lost the TARDISes, she'd lost her family, she'd lost her home...but she still had one TARDIS left to care for and that one was so full of life. It was almost like the TARDIS was taking them to all the most amazing places to try and show her what she was missing. And she had to admit, she rather loved the adventures and the places she'd been, the people she'd met, the things she'd seen. Though, it probably also had to do with the company, the Doctor made everything so much more amazing!
"Just for fun," the Doctor added, though inwardly beaming at the feelings and thoughts he was getting from Angel. He was so pleased that he'd managed to inspire her sense of adventure in such a way. He loved it!
"That's what we try to do at least," Angel continued.
"Never quite works."
"Always works out for the best in the end though," Angel nudged him.
"That it does," he admitted.
He could see it now, hindsight truly was 20/20 unlike Angel's foresight. Everything that had happened, had needed to happen. He needed to regenerate to be able to be this new man and tell Angel how he truly felt about her. Angel had needed to regenerate for her body to begin anew, more accepting of her abilities to allow them to grow. Rose had had to go to Pete's World otherwise they would have never met Martha Jones. They would have never had the adventures they'd had with her if they'd had Rose. Angel had been right, they were two entirely different people. They wouldn't have gone to meet Shakespeare or New New York again or Old New York or anything if not for showing them to Martha. There was no saying that they would have found the Master if Rose had been there.
By losing Rose, they had gained so much as well.
"Must be rich though," Astrid remarked.
"Haven't got a penny," the Doctor shook his head, before whispering, "Stowaways."
"Kidding?" Astrid's eyes widened.
"How did you get onboard?"
"We had a bit of an accident with your ship," Angel said, "I was working on rebuilding our ship with the Doctor and we left the defenses down. Ended up bumping right into the Titanic."
"And here we are," the Doctor finished, "Bit of a party, I thought 'Why not?' Take a break, celebrate," he wrapped his arm around Angel's waist, holding her back to him, swaying her a bit in his arms as he grinned widely. Boy did he have a lot to celebrate. She was ok, she was alive, and healthy and fine and in his arms once more. What wasn't there to celebrate?
"I should report you," Astrid murmured.
"You should," Angel smiled knowingly at the woman.
Astrid considered them a moment, "I'll get you a drink..." and added in a whisper, "On the house."
As she left, going past a group of first class passengers, they couldn't help but notice that the group was laughing and pointing at the expense of a heavy set couple a few tables away, dressed in purple country western outfits, eating away at the food on their table.
"Just ignore 'em," the black man said to the white woman next to him.
"Something's tickled them," the Doctor muttered as he pulled out a seat for Angel to sit down at their table, taking a seat close beside her.
"They told us it was fancy dress," the woman tugged at her shirt, "Very funny, I'm sure."
"They're just pickin' on us because we haven't paid," the man said, "We won our tickets in a competition."
"I had to name the five husbands of Joofie Crystalle in 'By the Light of the Asteroid.' Did you ever watch..."
"Is that the one with the twins?" the Doctor frowned, trying to recall it, Angel completely lost as she actually hadn't seen many 'alien' shows, with Rose and Martha around she'd ended up watching quite a bit of human telly.
"That's it. Oh, it's marvelous."
"Probably not good enough for that lot," the man motioned at the laughing table, "They think we should be in steerage."
The Doctor put his hand in his pocket, "Can't have that, can we?" he crossed his arms, holding the sonic under his left arm and flashing it. The champagne on the laughing table popped its cork and sprayed all of them.
"Did…did you do that?" the woman looked at the Doctor.
"Maybe," he smiled as he put the sonic away.
"We like you."
"We do," the man nodded, reaching out his hand to the Doctor, "I'm Morvin van Hoff," and then to Angel, "This is my good woman, Foon."
"It's nice to meet you Foon," Angel said warmly, shaking the woman's hand.
"Hello, I'm the Doctor," he greeted, "And this is my Mate, the Angel."
"Ooh, I'm gonna need a doctor by the time I'm finished with this buffet," Foon laughed, picking up a bit of food, "Have a buffalo wing. They must be enormous, these buffalo, so many wings."
The Doctor picked up a buffalo wing, holding it out to Angel offeringly.
"I'm not hungry," she shook her head. It was a bit odd though, she should be hungry, she'd barely eaten anything on the Valiant the last few days, unable to really keep anything down if she tried. One of the guards had brought her a bit of bread near the end, and she'd nibbled on that, but just...hadn't managed to keep it in her stomach. She should be hungry but her stomach just felt queasy, still settling, like the rest of her was, to being back to full health once more. She'd probably be starving after this adventure was over though...
'I'll make you a buffet of cupcakes,' the Doctor promised her in his mind, 'As many red velvet ones as you can eat, as much hot chocolate as you can drink, and I'll get the TARDIS to make a fireplace somewhere so we can get in a nice cuddle for good measure.'
She smiled, leaning over to rest her head on his shoulder, he was SO good to her, 'I look forward to that.'
He nodded and nibbled on the wing in his hand.
"Attention please," the speaker came on, "Shore leave tickets Red 6-7 now activated. Red 6-7."
"Red 6-7!" Foon pulled out the red ticket, "That's us," she stood and turned to them, "Are you Red 6-7?"
"Might as well be," the Doctor shrugged, getting up and holding a hand to Angel as well.
"Come on," Morvin smiled, putting an arm around Foon, "We're going to Earth!"
Frame examined a panel, frowning at the readings, "Seems to be power diverted to Deck 31, sir. It flared up then it stopped."
"Nothing to worry about," the captain called, "She's an old ship, full of aches and pains."
"Picking up a meteoroid shower portside, bearing West 56 North 2."
"Pretty standard in this part of space. Miles away."
"We could probably see it, sir," Frame remarked, taking out a pair of binoculars and peering through them at the meteoroids, not seeing the captain watching him closely from behind.
An older man, a bit bald, stood before a small gathering of people, in a tweed suit, holding up a red sign bearing '6-7' on it as he called out, "Red 6-7. Red 6-7. This way, fast as you can."
The van Hoffs rushed over followed by the Doctor and Angel, when Astrid stepped up to them, a tall drink on her tray with a small, pink, fruity drink with a small yellow umbrella in it beside it, "I got you those drinks."
"That's so cute," Angel smiled, plucking the umbrella out of the drink to look at it as though she had never seen one before, it was adorable in how miniature it was and the pattern on it. She opened it fully and moved to place it behind her ear like it was a flower.
"And we got you a treat," the Doctor laughed at Angel's reaction to the umbrella as he took Astrid's tray and set it on a table, "Come on."
"Red 6-7 departing shortly," the old man announced.
"2 Red 6-7s," the Doctor held up the psychic paper to the man, "Plus one."
"Uh, quickly, sir, ma'am. And please take three teleport bracelets if you would."
"I'll get the sack," Astrid whisper-yelled as Angel took the bracelets for them.
"Brand new sky," the Doctor smiled as Angel looked at the teleport bracelets a moment longer before handing one to Astrid and one to the Doctor, slipping her own on. It was weird, just then...she'd felt exactly the same as when she'd been on the Game Station, when she'd been holding Jack's shock bracelets and, for some reason, kept them. Those bracelets...
"To repeat, I am Mr. Copper, the ship's historian," the old man, Mr. Copper, explained, pulling Angel's attention away, "And I shall be taking you to old London town in the country of U.K. ruled over by good King Wenceslas. Now human beings worshipped the great god Santa, a creature with fearsome claws, and his wife Mary. And every Christmas Eve the people of U.K. go to war with the country of Turkey. They then eat the Turkey people for Christmas dinner...like savages."
Angel and the Doctor looked at each other. She knew she wasn't the cleverest Time Lord, but still…even she knew that was very wrong.
"Excuse me, sorry, sorry, but, um...where did you get all this from?" the Doctor asked the man.
"Well, I have a first class degree in Earthonomics. Now standby..."
"And me!" a high-pitched voice called, "And me! Red 6-7!" a small red alien with short spikes on his head and face ran over.
"Well, take a bracelet, sir..."
"Uh, but, um, hold on, hold on," the Doctor frowned, "What was your name?"
"Bannakaffalatta," the alien replied.
"Ok, Bannakaffalatta. But it's Christmas Eve down there. Late night shopping, tons of people. He's like a walking conker. No offense, but you'll cause a riot 'cos the streets are going to be packed with shoppers and parties..."
And they were teleported down to Earth, arriving on an empty, nearly desolate, street.
The Doctor looked around, "Oh."
"Now, spending money," Mr. Copper held up a small card, "I have a credit card in Earth currency if you want to by trinkets or, uh, stockings or the local delicacy, which is known as 'beef' but don't stray too far, it could be dangerous. Any day now they start boxing."
"Something's wrong…" Angel frowned, looking at the empty street.
"It should be full," the Doctor agreed, confused, "It should be busy."
"Oh it's beautiful!" Astrid cried, looking around, awed.
"Really?" the Doctor looked at her, "Do you think so? It's just a street. The pyramids are beautiful, and New Zealand, and you..." he winked at Angel before taking her hand and pulling her to him, just dancing in the middle of the street to no music any human could hear, though Angel knew he was moving in time with their hearts beats.
"But it's a different planet!" Astrid continued, reminding the Doctor that they were not alone, though he didn't stop dancing with Angel, "I'm standing on a different planet!"
Angel smiled gently as she rested her head on the Doctor's shoulder, "Different ground beneath your feet," she murmured, "Different sky, different smells…" she looked up at the Doctor, "Just like Rose."
The Doctor smiled sadly at that before suddenly turning and dipping her to the side, making Angel laugh and him smile, their thoughts no longer grim.
"This is amazing! Thank you!" Astrid ran over as soon as Angel was upright and hugged them both.
"You're very welcome," Angel nodded, "Now that we're here, we might as well have a look," she linked her arms with Astrid and looked around before spotting someone, "Doctor, is it just me...or does that man look a bit like Donna?" she nodded to the side.
The Doctor tilted his head before leading them across the street to a newsagent's booth where an old man was sitting, bundled in winter wear.
"Hello there!" the Doctor smiled, "Sorry, uh, obvious question, but where's everybody gone?"
"Oh ho, scared!" the man laughed.
"Right, yes. Scared of what?"
"Where have you been living?" the man scoffed, "London at Christmas? Not safe, is it?"
"Well, it's them, up above," he pointed up, "Look, Christmas before last we had that big bloody spaceship, everyone standing on a roof," he pointed at his small TV, showing a news clip, "And then last year, that Christmas Star electrocuting all over the place, draining the Thames."
"Our track record really isn't looking good for Christmas is it?" Angel asked the Doctor quietly, growing a bit more uneasy at the reminders of their past Christmases.
"This place is amazing," Astrid breathed, still in awe of it all.
"And this year, Lord knows what," the man continued, "So everybody's scarpered, gone to the country. All except me...and Her Majesty," he stood, proud, and smiled at the TV.
"Her Majesty, the Queen, has confirmed that she will be staying in Buckingham Palace throughout the festive season to show the people of London, and the world, that there's nothing to fear," a news reporter stated.
"God bless her!" the man saluted the TV, "We stand vigil."
"Well, between you and me, I think her Majesty's got it right," the Doctor said, "Far as I know, this year, nothing to worry about."
And suddenly they were teleported back to the ship, leaving the man standing there, mouth agape, staring at the spot they'd just been standing in, "Then again..." he fell back into his seat.
A/N: OMG! We have the return of the fluff! Woo! What a way to start a new series hmm? Don't you love fluffy Doctor? I think we really needed that after what happened with the Year-That-Never-Was :) And...our pairing name for the Doctor/Angel is now officially Thella! And Donna...I sort of could see Angel making the connection between Wilf and Donna :) We're gonna get to her in only a few more days! Lol, the last day of April will be the first day of Donna :) So much going on, yay!
As for the title of this story...we'll get a hint of the reason behind it in The Fires of Pompeii and more about it in The Poison Sky :) But here's a bigger question...are you worried about this story's summary? -evil smirk-
And...now, I'm about to freak out so be warned...O.M.G! I am squealing and probably falling out of my seat right now...and crying a little! I wanted to check something when I had officially finished the previous story in this saga, Hearts to Hearts, and...that story is, as of posting this chapter, one of the top 20 most reviewed stories in DW on this site! At the moment at least :) Seriously, if you go to DW and set the sort to 'Reviews' and everything else to 'all' my story is right at the bottom! My story, in the top 20, out of 47,000 stories? I really can't believe that happened, I literally was NOT execting that because I always think the story isn't quite good enough and that I can do better. And so...I screamed, I really did...and then my brother ran into my room to check on me at like 6 in the morning lol :) But...wow! That literally made my day/week/month/year/etc :) I really can't thank all of you enough, I know that story wouldn't be where it is without all of your amazing reviews/comments/suggestions/questions. So thank you all again, I really feel so honored to have readers like you :') I really do love all of you ^.-^
Some notes on reviews (from the end of Hearts to Hearts)...
Fading...well, we'll have to wait and see more about that :)
I am SO excited for the new episode! I can't wait to see what the TARDIS looks like. I caught a glimpse of a swimming pool in one of the previews or something and was like, finally! :)
The Doctor losing Angel is based on a teaser I gave for this series. I won't say when it happens or how or why or anything, but...it'll be coming :) ...that smiley face was meant to be an evil smirk...I really need to figure out how to actually do an evil smirk instead of a smiley face lol.