Chapter Six

Everyone headed back to the minivan after walking around the vicinity. By this time the sun was down and Jim drove them to the Circle to look at the lights. The Doctor thought the lighted monument was even more impressive in person than on TV. The monument was made of white brick. It had a wide base with an obelisk in the center. Around the base were statues of Civil War soldiers. Strings of large, white lights had been strung from the top to the bottom of the base and they went around the monument, mimicking a Christmas tree. There were buildings around the circle and certain windows in the buildings were lit up in a Christmas tree pattern. Around the base of the monument were large statues of toy soldiers and reindeer. A road circled around the monument like a roundabout and Jim slowly drove around the Circle so everyone could look at the decorations.

"Wow, this is gorgeous," Amy said, cuddling Rory while they looked out the window at the monument.

"And very romantic," River purred in the Doctor's ear.

"P'eh, I've seen better," the Doctor teased.

"On Venus?"

The Doctor looked at Michelle. She was sitting beside him in the back seat and she giggled when the Doctor raised his eyebrow.

"You're beginning to sound like a broken record, just letting you know that," he said while Michelle poked his side playfully.

They headed out of downtown Indianapolis and got back on I-70. But when they reached the Post Road exit, Jim took the ramp and used it to get to Highway 40. They drove out of Indianapolis into more rural areas. Each time they found a decorated house, Jim slowed down to let everyone get a look at it.

"Dad, take us past the doctor's house," Brittany said to her father.

"My house? It's back at your house," the Doctor said, feigning confusion.

"No," Mandy said, standing up and turning around in the seat in front of the Doctor and River. "It's a doctor doctor."

"I am a doctor doctor," he said while everyone laughed. "My house is back at your house, remember?"

"Mom, can we go see the non-alien doctor's house," Brittany said.

"You mean my clone? He's in the other universe," the Doctor said. "Wait, he's part alien so I suppose you don't mean him."

"What clone?" Brittany said.

"It's a long story, I'll tell you about it back at your house," the Doctor said while River gave him a questioning look.

They took their time going down Highway 40 until they were halfway home. Jim pointed to a house a few miles away on an intersecting road and the Doctor's eyes boggled. The house was lit up with so many white lights, he could see it and the trees in his yard as clear as a beacon.

"This is the doctor's house they're talking about," Lori said, pointing to the house while she looked at them.

"Wow, the neighbors must really love this guy," Rory said dryly as they turned onto the other road.

"I'd hate to have his electric bill," Amy said while Jim drove halfway up the road to the house.

The house was a one story ranch house and it was completely outlined with white lights. All the pine trees on his property had white lights on them and the trees completely surrounded the house on all sides. There was a black iron fence encircling it all with a gravel path that led from the opening to the front door. The Doctor couldn't see a garage or a car but figured the man must have to have one since he was out in the country. Jim parked the minivan close to the house and everyone got out. When the side door opened, the Doctor could hear Christmas music coming from speakers inside the property and he could see different plastic statues and figurines all over the property.

"He believes in the full monty for Christmas, doesn't he?" River said as she got out of the car behind him.

They walked behind Jim and Lori while he led them to the house. They went inside the gate and looked around.

"The doctor chap allows you to come in here?" Rory said to Jim.

"Oh yeah, it gets people off the road so everyone else can pass by," Jim said. "He and his wife are good folks and they do this every year. It's a big attraction out here."

The Doctor put his arm around River and they walked along the path. Now that they were inside the property, the Doctor noticed that the path also led off into the trees. He was about to take River down the path when the front door to the house opened and a middle aged woman came outside. She was plump with short curly blonde hair, a slightly lined face and a welcoming look on her face. She was wearing a red knitted sweater with a reindeer on it and black trousers. She carried a tray filled with plastic cups and a small plate of cookies. She welcomed everyone while she offered the tray to them and when she got to the Doctor, he could see hot chocolate and marshmellows inside the cups. He thanked the woman and he and River took a cup and a cookie.

"Walk around and enjoy the view," the woman said to the Doctor.

"Thank you…"


"Barbara," the Doctor said. "Thank you, Barbara. It's a lovely house, a little bright perhaps but lovely."

Barbara laughed.

"Blame my husband, this is his idea," she said. "I just serve refreshments to the gawkers."

"I thank you for the refreshments then," the Doctor said.

"You're very welcome. Enjoy the light show," Barbara said with a wink.

River glanced at River and they munched on their cookie while they walked down the path. In between the trees were various Christmas decorations, displays and statues.

"It's a good thing the man's a doctor," River said while she looked around. "It'd take a doctor's salary to afford all this."


The Doctor spun around when he heard Michelle and saw her running to him.

"Hay? There's no horses here!" the Doctor said. "Ha! I got back at you for literalizing my words. Go me!"

"You're silly," Michelle said.

"So are you but that's your greatest asset," the Doctor said. "So…what'd ya want? Be my girlfriend now that Rory's taken?"

"Ick no. I'm not interested in boys," Michelle said, making a face. "You're my uncle."

"Ah! So what brings you up the path then?"

"I wanted to show you something if its still here. Follow me."

"Lead on, little bookworm!" the Doctor said melodramatically.

He finished his cookie and sipped his drink while he held River's hand and followed Michelle down the path. The path wound around and headed towards the back and the Doctor could see a small parking area behind the house with a driveway that led off. A huge gate barred entry into the house and there was a silver Mercedes parked behind the house. Michelle led them to a clump of pine trees and pointed at a huge inflatable Snoopy nestled among them. Snoopy was dressed as Santa. He was sitting with his legs outstretched, holding a present in one hand and holding up Woodstock in the other. They could hear a humming from the air pump and Snoopy swayed slightly in the night breeze.

"This is my favorite one right here," Michelle said to the Doctor and River while she pointed to it.

"Ah! So I can wreck it then and cause you incalculable childhood trauma that will only be resolved through years of therapy. River, hold my cup while I annihilate Snoopy!"

"No!" Michelle said, running in front of him and giggling when the Doctor walked up and pretended to shove her out of the way.

"No, Doctor smash!" he said to Michelle while she giggled. "I must rip Snoopy apart and cause you pain!"

"Aunt River, help!" Michelle said, giggling while the Doctor grunted and tried to move her out of the way.

"Sweetie, calm yourself," River said, putting her arms around the Doctor.

"But," the Doctor said, stopping and looking over his shoulder at her, "I must destroy her delicate psyche by destroying Snoopy. The child must learn what it means to feel pain."

"No, I think we'll leave Snoopy alone," River said, patting his head.

"Sure?" the Doctor said while Michelle giggled. "I could turn her into a whimpering, crying heap for our amusement."

"Nah, let's move on," River said.

"Okey-dokey," the Doctor said, letting go of Michelle.

Michelle laughed and took his free hand.

"I'll show you something else now," Michelle said to them.

"Can I smash it then?" the Doctor said hopefully.

"You wanna burn in Hell?" Michelle said.

"Um…I don't know? Do I?" the Doctor said to River. "I don't know if I wanna view something that might send me to Hell."

Michelle led them along the path. It curved right and went to the back of the property. The Doctor saw a lighted Nativity scene at the end of the path that was huge, nearly the size of a small shed. Beside it was a huge plastic Santa statue that looked like it was attending the birth of Jesus along with everyone else. Michelle stepped off the path when they reached it and walked over to the wooden manger.

"This is big enough for me to come in," Michelle said.

"I'll say it is, are you sure it's not the actual stable?" the Doctor teased while River giggled. "And what is Santa doing here? I didn't know Father Christmas followed the wise men to the birth of our lord and savior."

"Yeah, he puts things close to each other sometimes," Michelle said, pointing to Santa.

"You think? I'm surprised he can still see after years of enduring all the bright lights. I have half a mind to get in the TARDIS and go to the moon just so I can see if he's visible from space. Blimey, I like Christmas too but this is overkill. On the other hand they do provide nummy hot chocolate while your eyeballs are getting bombarded by light and sound and color."

He felt a tap on his shoulder and turned to see Brittany behind him.

"I told Mom that Barbara should start putting LSD in the hot chocolate so you can have a big freak out while you're in here," Brittany said.

"She oughta supply everyone with sunglasses so their eyeballs aren't burned out of their skull," the Doctor said. "I'm glad he's all for the spirit of Christmas but I'm all for seeing properly after I leave here."

He looked over when Amy, Rory and Mandy came up the path towards them.

"You know I hope they don't have an electrical short and something catches fire because they'd never make it out alive in here," Rory said to them. "Every inch of this place is lit up."

"Well, that's good because you can see to kiss your new girlfriend," the Doctor said.

Rory rolled his eyes when they snickered at that.

"She's behaving though, just walking with us," Rory said, squeezing Mandy's hand while she drank a bit of her hot chocolate.

"I think the crèche is a bit of an overkill," Amy said, walking over to examine it.

"I think Father Christmas standing next to the crèche is a bit of an overkill," the Doctor said to her while she went inside it.

Amy looked at it and laughed.

"He came along to carry the wise man's gifts," she said, pointing to the Santa.

"Oh! Of course, how stupid of me not to think of that!" the Doctor said, slapping his forehead with the palm of his hand. "I suppose he just got left out of the Bible then. Poor Father Christmas, carrying all the gifts for Baby Jesus and he gets left out of the Bible."

They looked over when Lori called to all of them and told them it was time to leave. Everyone started walking except for the Doctor.

"Wait, I can't see anyone now, the lights blinded me!" he said, pretending to feel around while everyone laughed. "River? Where are you? I can't see that far anymore."

"Here, I'll help you!" Michelle said, taking his hand.

"River? Your voice is different and you seem to have shrunk now," the Doctor said while Michelle giggled.

He gave her hand a squeeze and they walked behind everyone while they made their way back to the front of the property.

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