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Tribble at the Door

Doctor Who Adventures

Stories of the Doctor's Other Adventures in Time and Space

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Wherever it's Christmas p.2
Tribble at the Door

Amy ran over and grabbed them both by the hands and hauled them off. “Come on. Let’s find the perfect tree!”


“But we can’t,” Rory protested. “It’s 60 feet tall!” He stared up at the huge pine tree the Doctor had chosen.

“It’ll fit in the Tardis,” the Doctor said, hands in his pockets looking up at his tree with satisfaction.

“Even if it’ll fit in the console room, how would we get it through the door?” Rory asked.

The Doctor opened his mouth to explain.

“Never mind,” Rory said. “Even if we could get it inside, I don’t fancy having to use a forklift to put the star on the top.”

“Oh, but it’ll be great,” the Doctor protested. “We can use gravity disks and ...”

Amy looked up at the tree, it was a huge monster of a thing that bears could live in. She’d always known the Doctor had a warped sense of scale. This only confirmed it.

While the Doctor and Rory bickered back and forth, Amy leaned sideways and felt her eyes light up.

“Shut up, the pair of you!” She looked at them and pointed behind the monster tree. “Look.”

With quizzical expressions the Doctor and Rory sidled sideways toward her and peered around the corner of the tree. There, beyond it, lay the most perfectly symmetrical fir tree either of them had ever seen.

Amy hefted the Viking ax and followed the two men as they went to investigate the find.

They walked all the way around it, in opposite directions, leaving a perfect ring of tracks in the snow.

Rory nodded. “It doesn’t even have an angel patch.” He rubbed his hands together, part to ward off the cold, but mostly in satisfaction.

“Angel patch?” the Doctor asked, standing casually beside him with his hands in his pockets.

Rory blew into his hands as Amy walked up behind them dragging the ax.

“Most trees have an ‘angel patch,’ a side of the tree less perfect than the others, like a bald spot or something, so you’ll know which side of the tree to turn to the wall. Kids call the bad spot an ‘angel patch.’ Like an angel put it there so they’d know.”

“I see.” The Doctor frowned for a moment at this odd belief, then his face lightened into a beautiful smile. “Humans,” he said with fondness. “You find beauty in even the ugly spots.”

He clapped his hands together making Rory jump. “Right!” He reached for the ax handle. “I guess it’s time to chop down our tree.”

“My job, I think,” Rory said, taking the handle from him. He hefted the heavy double-bladed ax and staggered. Amy and the Doctor stepped back out of range. But Rory stubbornly caught his balance, determined to do this right with Amy watching.

He hefted the blade up, preparing for his first swing then stopped. “This isn’t an alien tree is it?” he asked the Doctor. “I mean, it’s not going to start bleeding or something when I cut it down?”

“No. We’re on Earth. It’s a normal tree.”

“Oh, right. Good.” Strange how it hadn’t even occurred to him to ask what planet they were on. The American West didn’t necessarily mean Earth, especially with the Doctor driving. Oddly reassured, he took a deep breath of the fresh air, hefted the ax and took a swing.

It was a struggle to keep his balance with the heavy ax, and he felt sure he was going to cut his own leg off a couple of times, but Rory eventually got the tree chopped down.

With a last stroke the tree creaked, the last thread of wood splintered, and the tree separated from the trunk.

And floated.

“Wha?” Rory stepped back in surprise. The tree bobbed in the breeze - a foot of space between the bottom of the severed trunk and the treestump.

He heard the sonic screwdriver whirring behind him. The Doctor had the sonic pointed at the floating tree. Amy was jumping up and down with glee, clutching onto the Doctor’s sleeve.

“Don’t tell me,” Rory said, wiping the sweat off his face with his own sleeve. “The sonic has antigrav capabilities as well.”

“No, of course not. I put a couple of grav discs on the tree when we were studying it. The sonic is just working as a remote.”

Outdone again. Rory sighed and picked up the ax.

As he stood up he caught sight of Amy’s boots standing in front of him. He followed them up her long long hose-clad legs to her typical miniskirt (even here in the snow.) When he reached her face she was grinning. She knew what she did to him. At least she wasn’t shy about it.

She held out a cup of cocoa, poured from the thermos he had brought along.

“Thank you,” he said. Lost in his normal “Amy Daze” he swallowed the sweet, hot liquid and drank in the bright, happy sparkle in her eyes.

She took the cup back, screwed it on the thermos, and tossed the whole thing in the snow behind her. “You were great. Thank you,” she said, and kissed him. Not a quick peck on the cheek, but a long, deep, curl his toes in his boots, kiss.

She drew back and licked her lips, she pushed a lock of red hair behind her ear. “You taste like chocolate.”

“Uh, huh.” He was always so articulate after Amy kissed him.

“Come on. The Doctor’s getting away.”

She picked up the ax and he retrieved the thermos. They caught up with the Doctor who was thirty yards away, striding back toward the Tardis with the sonic screwdriver propped backward on his shoulder and the tree bobbing along, upright, behind him.

“Couldn’t you have made the door bigger or something?” Rory groused when they finally managed to manhandle the tree through the Tardis doorway.

Fir needles covered the Tardis floor and a few bald branches had been rubbed in their once perfect tree. They were all covered with itchy resinous sap and their clothes and hair were skewed from fighting the reluctant tree. The fir tree lay limply, like a hunter’s prize carcass, on the floor in front of the scanner. It looked as tired as they did.

“I could,” the Doctor admitted as he shrugged his jacket straight and adjusted his bowtie. He smoothed his hair back. “But I thought wrestling the tree through a too-small doorway was part of the Christmas tradition,” he said. “I had to set the door not to expand.”

Amy and Rory turned to stare at him. They both looked like they’d been through a fight with a polecat. Hair sticking out in all directions, scratches on arms and faces, and tree sap sticking their clothes together.

Remembering how they’d pushed and hauled and twisted the tree through the door, the Doctor pulling, Rory pushing, Amy holding the doors out of the way, and the grunts and swearing and yelling of bad advice as the tree gradually screeched its way in past the door frame...

Amy started to grin.

Rory stared openmouthed at the innocent Doctor.

“What?” the Doctor asked.

Rory threw back his head and laughed, his face shining with the bright, sparkling smile he so rarely gave.

Next Chapter

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Outdone again.

Awwww!!! Poor Rory! And I rarely feel sorry for Rory... in my odd, twisted way. So well done. :p

“But I thought wrestling the tree through a too-small doorway was part of the Christmas tradition,” he said.

HAHHAHAHAH How right you are, Doctor... Can't wait for the next installment!

Aww, this fic is like cocoa! Warm and sweet. :)

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