A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS

Chapter Two

The Doctor and his family pulled out the sofa bed and arranged their bedding while Michelle went into her secret room and came back with her beanbag. She put it beside the sofa and took the Doctor's hand.

"I missed you," she said to him.

"I wish I could say the same but for me it's only been a day," the Doctor teased.

Michelle helped them set up everything. Then they went upstairs. Lori was in the kitchen with the other children making some hot chocolate for everyone. The Doctor and his family sat at the table while the children sat on the stools.

"It's a shame your other self and Donna aren't here," Lori said while she poured milk into a small pot. "But you said it's dangerous for both of your bodies to be here together so I'll look forward to a visit from them if he decides to come."

"Nah, I'm selfish, I want you lot all to myself," the Doctor said, waving his hand dismissively. "Besides, we'll have just as much fun without them."

"So, what have you lot been doing since we left?" Amy said to them.

The children told them about their lives and the Doctor beamed proudly when Michelle told him about making the honors list at school. They continued filling him in while Lori poured the hot milk into mugs and added chocolate syrup. The Doctor thanked her when she handed him a mug.

"You are going to be responsible if I become obese," he teased before taking a sip.

"It's the holidays, you can afford to splurge," Lori teased back.

"Not if the holidays come one right after the other," Rory said.

"The children haven't put up the Christmas decorations yet because they wanted to wait for you," Lori said. "So you can do that tonight after we get back."

"Splendid," the Doctor said.

"And…they want me to ask you, do you have a last name? You just call yourself Doctor," Lori said while she brought over mugs for Amy and Rory.

"No, I don't. I'm just called the Doctor," he said while Amy and Rory took their mugs and thanked Lori.

He frowned when the children squealed with delight and Lori chuckled.

"Shall I tell him or do you want to?" Lori asked her children.

"We do!" the children said in unison while the Doctor glanced at his family.

"Okay, go ahead then," Lori said, going back to the stove.

"We want all of you to be a member of the family," Brittany said. "And we want you to have our last name, Stevens, if you want it."

The Doctor's family glanced at him and saw the stunned look on his face. He couldn't speak for a moment.

"Seriously?" he finally said.

The children nodded their heads vigorously.

"We love you and we want you to be a part of our family," Brittany said to them. "You said your home was destroyed so you need a new home."

River put her hand on his shoulder when the Doctor swallowed hard, overwhelmed by the offer.

"Yes, I'd love that," he finally said.

River, Rory and Amy laughed when the children cheered and got down from the stools. They zoomed out of the room while Lori laughed.

"Mind you, we have some nutty family members as you know," she said, bringing a mug to River. "And I doubt if certain members who will remain nameless will accept you as one of us but for this family, at least, you're an honorary Stevens now."

The Doctor and his family grinned and thanked Lori while she handed her mug to River.

"It's nothing," Lori said, waving her hand dismissively. "Trust me; this was all the children's idea. But Jim and I are all for it."

The children came back into the room carrying slips of paper and a huge photograph.

"We made these, just in case," Michelle said as they handed them the slips of paper. "They're adoption certificates with your new names on them."

"And you get a photo of us," Mandy said, holding up the framed photograph of their family. "Cause you need one when you're not here."

"And we want one of you," Brittany said. "For the same reason."

The Doctor could no longer contain the tear that streaked down his cheek and he opened his arms wide. The children flew into his arms and he held them tight while River, Rory and Amy got up and encircled the children in a group hug.

"Thank you," the Doctor said while they tried to hug him back as best they could.

They stepped back and the Doctor took the photo and him and his family looked at it. Jim and Lori were standing at the back with the children grouped together in front of them. He smiled and handed it to River along with his certificate and gave the children another big group hug.

"We also have certificates and a photo for your other body and Donna too," Brittany said when he let go.

"I'm sure they'll be pleased," the Doctor said, trying not to imagine Donna losing memories of her adopted family along with everything else.

"Have you seen Lilo and Stitch?" Mandy said to him.

"Yes, I have," the Doctor said.

"Ohana means family and family means no one gets left behind," she quoted.

"Stop it, you're gonna make me cry," the Doctor teased as he hugged Mandy.

Lori told the children to come and get their mugs and she winked at the Doctor when they left to pick up their mugs from the counter.

XOXOXOXOXOXOXO

Jim chuckled when he came in the kitchen with Rex and saw the certificates and the framed photo on the table beside River.

"I see you accepted," Jim said with a twinkle in his eyes while Rex bounded over to the Doctor.

"Yeah, they twisted my arm and threatened bodily harm if I didn't do it," the Doctor said as he scratched behind Rex's ears.

"Well, welcome to our family," Jim said warmly. "I have to go get the minivan and Lori needs to go with me so she can drive the truck back home. Do you mind staying here with the children and we'll go to New Castle as soon as we return."

"Not a problem," the Doctor said.

"See, you're already given responsibilities now," Lori teased. "We won't be long but all of you behave your adopted family members while we're gone and don't tear up the house, you got that?"

"Yes, Mom," the kids intoned.

Jim took Lori's hand and they waved to everyone before heading towards the front door.

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