rynne: (ten/rose beautiful)
[personal profile] rynne
Title: New Histories and Old Traditions
Author: Rynne
Rating: PG
Fandom: Doctor Who
Summary: Some things change between universes, and some things don't. Ten II/Rose with fluff and aliens.
Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] haro for the [livejournal.com profile] oh_she_knows Secret Santa. Her request prompt was: General silly adventure fic with a perfect combination of fluff and aliens. Bonus if it's 10.5 and Rose in their new TARDIS! Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] butterfly and [livejournal.com profile] magic_at_mungos for the last-minute beta. :D


"Seriously? Real elves, like Santa's elves?"

He grinned. Oh, he loved this part, where he told her something she wasn't sure whether or not she could believe, but she ended up believing it anyway, delighted in what the universe could offer. Even if it was a different universe.

And it was Christmas, their first in their new TARDIS. It was only right to show her something related to Christmas.

"Welllll, they're not actually called elves," he said. "They're really called Fforddia. A few centuries ago some of them crash-landed in Greenland and met a party of humans who gave them food and care and did what they could to help repair the ship, though it wasn't much since that was centuries before space travel was even taken seriously as a concept. Anyway! When the ship was repaired, the Fforddia gave the humans nifty little knick-knacks -- ohhh, I love that word, knick-knacks --" She lightly hit him on the shoulder and he pouted, but then continued, "To thank them. The story travelled and changed, as stories do, and somehow it ended up being elves in the North Pole making toys for Santa Claus."

"So they don't actually make toys?"

The Doctor shrugged. "For their own children, yes, of course. They won't do it for humans until millennia from now when that becomes a viable industry. But they're very hospitable, and they love visitors!" He offered his arm in an exaggeratedly chivalrous gesture, then indicated the TARDIS door. "Shall we?"

She grinned and slid her arm through his, pressing close against his side. "I love this," she said, squirming against him with obvious excitement, though in a manner that did not cause him to want to leave the TARDIS just yet. "I mean, I love being on Earth if I'm there with you, but I just love the travelling."

"Me too," he said, beaming back at her. Though he had waited impatiently for their new TARDIS to grow, he'd been much more content to stay on Earth than he had back when he was stuck there in his third body. Rose made all the difference.

She stopped squirming, which part of him regretted, but it did make it easier to stride together to the door and step outside. He let go of her arm to reach behind her and close the door, then took her hand and started walking through a densely wooded area towards the village that should only be about a mile away.

"So," she said, just as they reached the outskirts of the village, "how did Santa come into it? I mean, yeah, Saint Nicholas an' all, but how'd he get connected to elves at the North Pole?"

"That's really a very--" There was movement in the corner of his eye, and he turned his head to see a large group of Fforddia heading their way. "--interesting--" With spears. "--story." And they didn't look very hospitable. Could he chance it? Rose only had one life to risk, and now so did he. He made a decision and turned around, hauling her with him. "Run!" he shouted, and started to.

She kept up easily, though they'd had to drop hands in order to run better. Still, he found himself grinning. That was what it was all about! Running around on an alien planet under an alien sky, pursued by aliens--

Who were fast little buggers. Something tackled his legs and he fell forward, the breath exploding from his lungs as he hit the ground. Ohh, that hurt. He lay there, his body not up to moving yet, and in any case prevented from doing so by the Fforddia now drawing his hands together behind his back and tying some sort of rope around his wrists.

He looked up to see Rose pausing in her flight, looking back at him with a pale face. None of the Fforddia pursued her, appearing to be focused on him, possibly because he was bigger and he remembered Fforddia having a thing about height, thinking the tallest was the most dangerous, or something like that. He wanted to keep their attention on him, so he didn't want to risk saying anything, but he looked at her, trying to send her a message with his eyes that the best thing she could do now was get out of there, and come back later to rescue him at a more opportune moment.

She appeared to get the message, biting her lip before nodding and slipping away into the woods.

The Fforddia prodded him to his feet, and he winced as he stood up. He didn't think any of his ribs were broken or even cracked, but his chest still felt sore from the fall. They marched him back to the village, nudging him with their spears every time he lagged. Still, out of the corner of his eye he could see Rose shadowing them, so at least she was still nearby.

They went through the village and beyond it, to a hill just on the other side. On top of the hill was a pole, which they quickly tied him to, binding his feet before loosening his hands and then re-binding those together behind the pole. From what he could understand of the low murmurs around him, they were going to sacrifice the Tall Outsider -- him -- at dawn to their gods.

He let his head thump back against the pole, closing his eyes and suppressing a groan. Why did this always happen to him?

--

"Bit tied up there, are you?"

His eyes opened and his head snapped up, a grin already forming on his face at the familiar, beloved voice. His heart started pounding faster, anticipating rescue. He'd been hoping she would get here as soon as it was dark enough to hide her freeing him, and here she was, right on time.

"You could say that," he returned calmly. He shifted his hands behind his back, but the ropes were just as tight as they were five minutes ago. "What took you so long?"

"Oh, I was waiting for you to get yourself out of it," she said airily, stepping forward out of the darkness. "But since you don't seem to have managed it, I suppose I'll have to step in."

"I just thought I'd give you a chance to be the one rescuing me," he teased, then shifted again. "Now, if you would...?"

She giggled. With a wicked smile on her face, she stepped closer and reached into his inner jacket pocket for the sonic screwdriver, brushing across his chest. His heart was pounding hard enough that he was sure she could feel it. Would he ever get used to the way they were together now, or how easily his half-human body reacted to her? This wasn't exactly the most appropriate place.

This new sonic screwdriver didn't have as many settings as his old one, but thankfully it did have one that cut rope, and soon Rose was behind him, working on the bonds around his wrists. "I still can't believe you got captured by elves," she said, amusement thick in her voice. Still, he thought he could hear traces of worry beneath the amusement, and winced at having caused her anxiety.

"Rose!" He flexed his wrists, wishing the process were a bit faster. "I've told you before, they're not elves. That's just the term humans applied to them. They're actually called Fforddia."

"Yeah, you told me." The ropes started to slacken, but not enough yet. "I overheard them talking when I was waiting for a chance to get up here. I know you said they liked visitors, but I didn't figure that would mean they liked having them sacrificed." On the last word, her voice went fierce, and she tugged on the weakened ropes enough to break them herself. He gratefully moved his arms, rotating his wrists and trying to get all the feeling back.

"They should have outgrown this stage centuries ago," he complained softly, taking her hand as they walked down the hill, skirting around the village. "I didn't take us that long before that crash-landing in Greenland, by their time. I even double-checked the coordinates. They should have at least achieved space flight by now, not be holding onto spears and sacrifices. How they managed to get there in time to start the North Pole stories you still have, I don't know."

"Shhh!" she cautioned him, watching the light flicker in the village as they travelled around the outside.

He lowered his voice. "I don't like my history being this off, Rose," he murmured. She squeezed his hand. "It's one thing for me to land on the wrong date, but that didn't happen this time."

"Hey," she said, rubbing her thumb over the back of his hand. "New universe, yeah? There's bound to be changes."

"I know," he said, trying not to snap at her when she didn't understand. Humans didn't know what it was like to know the names and histories of all the stars in their sky, so how would they comprehend what it was like to look up and see different stars, to get to a planet and find a different history?

They were into the woods near the TARDIS by now, and Rose stopped for a moment, making him pause as well. She raised his hand to her lips and kissed the knuckles. "You can find out the new histories, y'know," she said warmly. "It'll be an adventure, finding out what's different and what's not!"

She grinned at him, and he couldn't help but grin back. Oh, Rose. How did she learn how to read him so well, or know so exactly what to say to make him feel better? "Oh yes, it will," he agreed. "It will."

He let go of her hand to slide his arms around her. Maybe now he only had one heart and one life, and the stars were different, but having her here with him was worth it. And if at least one planet's history was the same as in the other universe... "Come on," he said, stepping back to take her hand again. "I've got an idea."

After this mess, he owed it to her to show her something nice and Christmassy this time.

--

This time when they stepped out of the TARDIS, he surveyed what was in front of them and nodded in satisfaction. Exactly what it should be. He glanced over at Rose, standing beside him with her mouth slightly open and her eyes wide.

In front of them was a huge tree, the trunk so wide that it would take about a hundred humans holding hands to reach all the way around. It looked something like a typical Scots pine, only many times bigger, and with the trunk shading more toward gold and the needles more blueish.

The Doctor, though, was sure that it wasn't the size of the tree that had so flabbergasted Rose. She had seen many large trees over the course of her travels. What made her stare was most likely the huge collection of presents at the foot.

"Biggest Christmas tree in the universe," he murmured into her ear. "The religious aspects of Christmas don't always translate well to other species and cultures, but many of them picked up the whole peace-on-Earth -- well, the universe -- and good-will-towards-men -- or other sentient beings. And the idea of giving presents. Most species out there like a good present, except for the really ascetic ones."

She turned to him, beaming him her best smile. Oh, he loved that smile. She leaned up to kiss him, and he happily returned it. "'s brilliant," she breathed, when she pulled away. She glanced back at the tree. "We can join the celebration, yeah? I mean, these people are actually hospitable, right?" Her tongue made an appearance at the corner of her mouth as she teased him, and he had to concentrate not to just pounce on her and kiss her again.

"Very much so," he confirmed, grinning at her and taking her hand, then tugging her towards the tree. "In fact, this isn't just one species' Christmas celebration. They're just good enough to host it. And there's a bit of a tradition surrounding this particular celebration."

He drew a small box out of his coat pocket, wrapped and tied with ribbon. She glanced from the box to his pockets, and he smirked at her. Transdimensional pockets were one of the first things he did to every new suit he bought.

"What's in there, then?"

"Just a little offering," he replied, shifting it in his hand. "This is a Gnormian music box I found in one of the rooms of the TARDIS -- which just goes to show you, by the way, how hard to understand a TARDIS can be even to her Time Lord, because we haven't even been to Gnormia and I have no idea how she could have found this."

"Yes, Doctor," she said, smiling and nodding in that way she had when she was waiting for him to get to the point. He pouted at her, and she laughed.

"Anyway," he said. "The tradition here is basically a gift exchange. You bring a gift and get to bring one away with you. It's a bit of a grab-bag because all the presents are wrapped and so you don't know what you're going to get, but that's part of the fun of it! No one brings anything that's dangerous, so the worst thing that can happen is really that you might get something that doesn't look or sound or smell very pretty for your species, but people will put up with that for the spirit of the exchange and just bring the gift back next year."

"Oh, that's lovely," Rose said, her voice soft. "What about people who try to take more'n their fair share, or try to take something without bringing something else?"

"Doesn't happen," he said proudly. "Not once in all the years this went on did that ever happen. The Christmas spirit, Rose! Brilliant thing."

She smiled at him, then tugged him close and kissed him again. "Come on," she said against his lips. "Let's go take a pick out of this grab-bag, then."

Date: 2008-12-10 07:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shinyopals.livejournal.com
Aww, yay for more cute. You are being productive, aren't you?

The Doctor not knowing things is such a fun idea to play with! :D

Date: 2008-12-12 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Yay for cute! :) Thanks.

Date: 2008-12-11 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] haro.livejournal.com
Oh dear. Poor Doctor. I really love the idea of little quirks being different between the universes causing humorous (although dangerous!) problems. The bit about Santa's elves being aliens was just great. You have their voices down SO well, and it was just a great pleasure to read this. Thank you so much for writing it for me. ♥

Date: 2008-12-12 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
I'm glad you liked it! Thank you. :)

Date: 2008-12-11 05:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] javabreeze.livejournal.com
Oh, I love Christmas stories with the Doctor and Rose. Very cute!

Date: 2008-12-12 09:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-12-11 06:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] reetinkerbell.livejournal.com
Oh that's just lovely. :)

Date: 2008-12-12 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Date: 2008-12-11 06:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] outforawalk.livejournal.com
What a shiny, happy fic! By coincidence, I happen to love shiny, happy fic. I was thinking how fun it would be to meet Santa's elves until they showed up with spears. That's just not right!

Date: 2008-12-12 10:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
XD At least it ended up shiny and happy? :p Thanks!

Date: 2008-12-11 10:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] electrictoes.livejournal.com
Oh, adorable <3

Date: 2008-12-12 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks!

Date: 2008-12-11 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prynne12.livejournal.com
Oh, just the thing to start a morning!

Date: 2008-12-12 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you!

Date: 2008-12-12 07:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] helygen.livejournal.com
Aaaw that's adorable :)

Perfect voices, as always, and a lovely couple of slants on our Christmas traditions :)

Date: 2008-12-12 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! :)

Date: 2008-12-12 04:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kb91.livejournal.com
Happy, cute Christmas fic ... always in vogue! :D

Date: 2008-12-12 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thanks! :)

Date: 2008-12-13 10:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oursoliloquies.livejournal.com
Such a cute, Christmassy fic! You really brought across the essence of their dynamic here - the dialogue was wonderfully crafted.

Date: 2008-12-14 04:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rynne.livejournal.com
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. :)

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