Rose held the tissue tight against her nose while she sneezed into it. It'd been two days and she was busy fighting a heavy cold that she picked up after visiting a manor house with the Doctor. The footman was visibly sick, yet compelled to stay and work and he sneezed into her face while he was putting a bowl of tomato bisque into front of her. He then stayed near her, behind her chair, sneezing and sniffling softly and now Rose was paying for it. Day one hadn't been too bad, just a slight sore throat and the sniffles but overnight it escalated into an all-out assault on her body complete with drippy nose. To her chagrin, the Doctor hadn't been affected, even though he'd been sitting right beside her that night. Rose had never seen the Doctor have a cold, come to think of it. She wondered if it was possible for her to get one.

At the moment, however, she was sitting up in her bed, a pink quilted duvet keeping her lower half warm and a trusty box of tissues sitting on her lap. She was watching a TV that was embedded into the wall on the opposite side of the room. She was trying to focus on Eastenders at the moment, although her stuffy head, runny nose and watery eyes made it difficult to concentrate on the program. She kept the tissue against her nose and blew into it, knowing that in ten seconds her nasal passages would be clogged again.


Rose paused in the middle of a second snort into the tissue when Eastenders was suddenly replaced by the Doctor sitting on his jump seat in the console room. He waved cheerfully to her.

"Feeling better?" he asked her.

"No," Rose said with a nasally voice as she lowered the tissue from her nose.

The Doctor frowned at that.

"I'm sorry to hear that. I rather hoped you'd be feeling better so we could have an adventure today."

"Sorry, adventure time will have to wait," Rose replied.

Rose put the used tissue on the wooden bedside table beside her bed. She glanced at the Doctor and noticed a grin on his face. She couldn't help but smile back at him and his cute boyish face.

"What?" she said. "What's with the Cheshire Cat Grin?"

"A thought, just a thought, nothing more than that," the Doctor said innocently.

"Yeah, right. What are you thinking then?" Rose said.

"Just a mo and I'll let you know," the Doctor said. "In the meantime, back to Eastenders."

Eastenders returned but now Rose was consumed with curiosity, wondering what the Doctor was up to. She casually watched the soap opera while she waited for whatever was going to happen to happen. Twenty minutes later, the program was interrupted again. On the screen was a white background with RUDOLPH'S CHRISTMAS printed on it. The letters were written with red and green crayon that alternated color with every other letter. Rose's eyebrow cocked. It wasn't Christmas yet, not to her knowledge, but then again, they were in a time machine. But she didn't care; she was curious about this new Christmas program so she settled back against the wooden headboard and waited.

The next thing she saw was a small cartoon reindeer with a bulbous red nose.

"This…is Rudolph," she heard the Doctor say in a dramatic voiceover. "He's a lonely chap with a big bright hooter that scares people."

"I get that," Rose said aloud, feeling a bit better knowing the Doctor was trying to entertain her now.

The cartoon deer began to walk across a snowy landscape while the Doctor's voiceover continued.

"Rudolph was ostracized because people thought his nose was diseased…or something like that. Anyway, he wasn't allowed to join in reindeer games like Knock Me in the Head with Your Head or Kick Me in the Bum with Your Hoof, that sort of thing."

Rose laughed which led to a brief coughing spasm.

"Now…" the Doctor said, while the reindeer kept on walking, "this is not the sort of program where you switch off your brain cells and watch mindlessly. Oh no! Here, Rose Tyler, you tell me what you want to see and the TARDIS will do the rest. So…what should Rudy do next in our little saga?"

Rose smiled while she thought.


Rose paused a moment in thought while the cartoon reindeer kept on walking. Then she had an idea and grinned.

"Rudolph was walking along when suddenly the TARDIS appeared," she said.

She heard a soft wheeze and watched while a cartoon TARDIS appeared in front of Rudolph. Rudolph stopped and stared at the doors with a blank expression on his face.

"What should Rudy do?" the voiceover said gravely while the cartoon deer stared at the cartoon TARDIS.

Rose was going to answer but first she had to blow her nose so she picked up the tissue and blew into it. To her surprise, Rudolph opened his mouth a few seconds later and the exact same snort came out of it. Rose laughed at that and was wracked with a coughing fit. Rudolph opened his mouth a moment later and imitated her laugh and cough.

"No, that's not my answer," Rose said to the TV after hurriedly sobering up. "I was blowing my nose first and you made me laugh when Rudolph imitated me."

"Oh, I wondered why you wanted Rudolpho to make a weird snorty sound," the voiceover said. "Okay, so…what should Rudy do then?"

"Okay, the TARDIS door opens and the Doctor looks out and says hello to Rudolph," Rose said as she put the tissue back on the table.

The TARDIS door opened with a loud creak and a cartoon version of the Doctor stuck his head out. He looked at Rudolph, opened his mouth and made the blow my nose snort at him. Rudolph returned the snort and Rose fought to keep from laughing aloud while the cartoon Doctor jumped out of the TARDIS and he and Rudolph danced around in a circle, snorting at one another.

"Rudolph had finally made a friend," the Doctor's voiceover said as the dancing and snorting continued. "Mind you, he was a strange friend that snorted at Rudolph with a sound reminiscent of a loud, booming fart. But he was a friend nonetheless."

"Okay," Rose said, deciding to ignore the snorts and the fart comment, "now a Dalek attacks them."

She waited for said Dalek to appear onscreen but the snorting and dancing continued.

"As the dancing continued," the voiceover said, "Rudolph became strangely enamored of the weird, thin stranger."

The dancing stopped and Rudolph put his head down and suddenly began to aggressively herd the Doctor backwards across the snowy landscape.

"In fact, Rudolph wanted him for his own," the voiceover said.

"Um…I wanted a Dalek," Rose teased.

"Eh, they've been done to death. Rudolph falling in love with the Doctor and having children with him is much more exciting."

"What?" Rose said in disbelief.

"You heard me," the Doctor said teasingly. "The Doctor and Rudolph have a bit of a shag and out pops babies."

"But you're both male," Rose teased back. "Who's going to give birth then?"

"Rose Tyler," the voiceover said gravely, "there is much about Time Lord physiology that you do not know about."

Rose rolled her eyes while Rudolph herded the Doctor into a huge cave. She raised her eyebrow when she suddenly heard a series of snorts and high pitched terrified squeals coming from inside it. Then suddenly a bunch of tiny creatures pranced out of the cave. They were hybrid reindeer with Doctor heads instead of proper deer heads. The Doctor Deers' grinned at Rose as they scampered away off-screen.

"So Rudolph and the Doctor had tons of tiny, terrific Time Lord Reindeer children and all was well. The end," the voiceover said.

"That was nauseatingly twee," Rose said as the monitor faded to black. "Except for the whole reindeer/alien rape thing. That part was just plain weird and disturbing."

The TV picture came back on and she saw the real Doctor sitting on his seat in the console room. He was cramming a large handful of popcorn from a big, blue paper sack on his lap into his gaping mouth.

"You didn't like it?" he said though the mouthful of popcorn. "I thought it was brilliant. Rudolph's Christmas will make Citizen Kane look like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, mark my words."

"Sure it will," Rose said as she grabbed her tissue.

The Doctor swallowed what was left of the popcorn in his mouth and stared at her intently with an incensed look on his face while she blew her nose.

"Are you saying my version of an entertaining and thought provoking family Christmas program is rubbish?" he finally said.

"Yes, your version of an entertaining and thought provoking family Christmas special is so rubbish it makes real rubbish look like not rubbish," Rose said.

"Not rubbish? Is that even a correct term?" the Doctor said while Rose giggled.

"Works for me," Rose said innocently with a shrug.

"So…I s'pose you can do better?" the Doctor said.

"No, I know I can't which is why I'm not even trying," Rose said. "And what's with the whole Christmas thing anyway? It's not even Christmas."

"I know that. But I'm in a sort of crimbo mood at the moment," the Doctor said. "I was fixing a glitch in the TARDIS computer while waiting for the snot in your nose to dry up and I had my IPod on shuffle while doing so and Jingle Bells came on. I thought perhaps a bit of Christmas spirit is what's needed around here since you're under the weather. And it appears to me that the snot still hasn't dried up. So is there a point when it will because I'm getting the jangles and I need to go walkies."

"Well, go walkies then," Rose said, trying not to laugh and risk more coughing. "I'm sorry if I'm causing you to have jangles, whatever that is."

"Jangles, nervousness, the need to get up and go out," the Doctor said, twitching his hands in front of the camera.

"Sorry, I never heard the word, jangles, before."

"I know, I made the word up all on my own, brilliant, eh?"

"Mm," Rose said as the Doctor smiled proudly at his own brilliance. "All yours, just like timey wimey then?"

"Yes. Jangles, timey wimey, mumbley poo, hoarty, the list goes on and on. One day I'll put all my invented words into a dictionary. When I have the time, that is."

"Can I add one then?"

"One, what?"

"A word."

The Doctor's face lit up.

"Ooo, you have your own word as well? What is it?" he said excitedly.

"Frusted," Rose said.

"Frusted. I like that. It's a nice, solid word. What's it mean?"

"It's my version of frustrated as in…I'm frusted whenever you want to run headlong into danger without warning me first," Rose said.

"I like that. I do," the Doctor said. "Sure, I will file that away in Noddle Central here," he said, tapping his temple, "until the time I can get around to compiling the dictionary."

"Well, I'm sure I'll be dead and gone before that happens then," Rose said dryly.

She grinned when the Doctor stared at her intently.

"What's taking so long?" he said after a moment of silence.

"What d'ya mean?" Rose said.

"I gave you cheering up entertainment and made you laugh. That should have sorted out the illness by now."

"Sorry," Rose said with a shrug.

"Humans. They're able to bounce back from the worst tragedies but the moment a germ enters their body, it's all tissues and moaning. Poo. I want fun!" he said, leaning back on the jumpseat.

Rose giggled. She formed her right hand into the shape of a rabbit head and bounced it up and down while the Doctor stared at her.

"What's this?" he said, gesturing to her hand.

"Fun. You wanted fun. Here it is," Rose said.

She laughed when the Doctor gave her a peeved look and switched off the monitor. The laugh descended into another coughing fit and she grabbed her tissue and put it over her mouth to contain it. She settle back onto the pillow behind her and reached for the remote control. Eastenders was over so she tried to find something else to watch. She found a nature program when suddenly there was a flash and a brightly lit Christmas tree appeared in the corner of her room. Rose put the remote down in her lap while she gazed at it. Then Jingle Bells began to play from a speaker mounted in the ceiling. Rose looked over when the bedroom door opened and the Doctor entered. He was carrying a black laquer tray by the handles on the sides and on the tray was a small pot of tea, two ceramic mugs and some chocolate chip cookies.

"Okay, if the mountain will not come to Mohammed," he said, kicking the door closed with his right foot. "Mohammed will bring tea and biscuits to the mountain."

"Aw, you're so sweet," Rose said as she made room on her lap for the tray.

"No, actually I'm being selfish. I want fun and the faster I can heal you, the faster fun can begin," he said, lowering the tray carefully onto her lap.

"And the tree and Christmas music?"

"It helps with the healing?" the Doctor said with a shrug.

Rose smiled and nodded. She watched while the Doctor grabbed a chair that was sitting in front of her desk and pulled it up to the bed. The TARDIS dimmed the lights after the Doctor and Rose poured their tea and she played Christmas music while the two of them ate and chatted.


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