Sunday, December 22, 2013

"Just agree with me because I've only got two arms and then it's your turn."

 Wherein Jack signs off for Christmas.

 I meant to post on Friday but was too busy enjoying my holiday by being lazy in proper lazy fashion - by watching lots and lots of British TV shows with friends. And all the Doctor Who Christmas Specials. And now, this is the last post I am going to do until after Christmas. I will return next Monday for a New Years post and then be back full time the Monday after that.
 In the meantime I hope you all have a wonderful, happy Christmas and - to all my fellow Whovains - a tragic parting with 11.

 And before I go, I wanted to leave you all with a Christmas present.

 Christmas on the Base
 Peter always had trouble getting into the Christmas spirit, as Hannah Brown called it. She'd start singing Christmas Carols the day after Thanksgiving and as soon as the other Cadets left for their homes the second week of December she'd begin decorating. She painted her nails red and green and left them that colour till New Years Eve. She'd bake enough to feed the Scottish Base and the one in England and then would force Peter, Tony, and O'Brien to eat it all - since they were the only ones who stayed through the holidays. Then, to top it all off, she'd wear nothing but reds and greens which sparkled. She put holly and ivy in her hair, place poinsettis in dangerous places, hang mistletoe in random, unexpected spots (this was to catch one of the three young men off guard so she could give them a peck on the cheek.)

 It was hard to not want to celebrate Christmas with her around, especially when they all went out and got the tree and hung it with popcorn strings and candles. Presents would begin to appear underneath it, a constant reminder that the holiday was getting closer and closer. And then, of course, there were the snowball fights and the snowman building. And yet, even then, Peter always felt like something was missing.

 This year was the same. They'd just come in from the snowman building. This year Hannah had talked them into making a whole army of them all over Base. They'd even borrowed some of the hats and gloves a few of the Cadets had left behind. Hannah promised to make sure they were dry by the time everyone got back.

 Heading into Headquarters, were the tree was always set up, everyone stumbled out of their boots and coats, then the three young men stood in front of the fire while Hannah made what she called her world famous hot chocolate.

 Tony was nudging a plan box with his sock covered toe. It was a present from his parents and all of them knew what it contained as it was the same every year. But that never lessened the excitement. There would be cookies inside, and jelly, some of Mrs. Verne's homemade cider mix, and other delightful treats. Peter thought it was cruel of Hannah to make them wait till Christmas morning before opening it.

 In the other room Hannah's singing was coming through the door. She was singing her favourite, O Holy Night, a song Peter couldn't master because of the ending. Hannah, however, sang it beautifully, as if it was as natural as breathing.

 "Tomorrow is Christmas," O'Brien said, breaking some of the awkwardness that had fallen over them. Even during Christmas, there was always a sense of uncomfortableness any time O'Brien and Tony were in the same room.

 "You don't plan to burn the ham again this year, do you?" Tony teased. O'Brien was always put in charge of the ham, but last year he'd let it catch fire because he'd allowed Tony to bait him into a snowball fight. They'd had to eat some left over turkey instead.

 "You don't plan to cause problems again, do you?" O'Brien muttered dangerously.

 Peter blocked out their half-hearted bickering and stared out the window. It was starting to snow, which would make Hannah happy. She liked Christmas more if it was snowing. A heavy sigh tried to escape his lips but he bit it back.He didn't want to be depressing, but just then not even the thoughts of hot chocolate and Hannah's singing could cheer him up. He glanced down at the box Tony was still nudging. 

 If his parents hadn't left him, if they'd have loved him as much as Tony's, would they send him a box every Christmas? He imagined what that would be like. He would be just as excited as Tony, though he supposed if he did have parents he wouldn't stay at the Base every Christmas. He'd go home, like the other Cadets. Then Tony, O'Brien, and Hannah wouldn't feel they had to stay behind just so he wouldn't be alone on the holiday.

 Every year he tried to convince them all to go home. He said he would be fine on his own, tried to tell them he'd even enjoy having the Base all to himself but they never bought it. He sometimes got the impression they weren't just staying to keep him from being lonely but for other reasons as well.

 Hannah came back into the room just then and Peter looked up in time to see her roll her eyes at O'Brien and Tony as she thrust mugs into their hands. They broke of their argument long enough to thank her then went back to it. Peter was impressed by their skills.

 Smiling, Hannah walked over to him and held out another one of the mugs. Peter accepted it with his best attempt at a smile.

 "Are you ready for Christmas?" she asked, sipping her own hot chocolate while her eyes twinkled.

 "I think so," he murmured. He took too big a drink and burned his tongue but didn't care. It still tasted good.

 Hannah squinted at him through the steam rising up out of her mug. "You sound depressed," she rebuked.

 Peter quickly looked away, wishing there was a way to hide emotions from her. "I guess, I might be. I feel bad," he glanced up again, "wouldn't you rather be home with your family, Hannah, instead of staying on Base?"

 A sad look glinted through her eyes so quickly he wasn't even sure it was there. She replaced it with a smile as she pointed up. Snapping his head up, Peter saw what he was standing under too late to move. Hannah sprang forward, her satin green dress rustling as she planted a kiss on his cheek. Peter was too stunned by her speed to move as she whispered something in his ear.

 "I'm like you, Peter. I don't have a family. Just you. And I choose to spend this Christmas like I've spent all the others. With my family, with you."

 She moved back and beamed him a sad, cheerful smile which he didn't think humanly possible till he felt a similar one tugging at his lips as Tony and O'Brien began to snicker at him getting caught under the mistletoe. Listening to them, seeing her smile, feeling the warmth from the hot chocolate seep into his hands, Peter Jones felt a small spark of Hannah Brown's Christmas spirit shoot through him. Maybe this was what family felt like. He hoped someday, he'd know for sure.
***

 Happy Christmas, everyone!

 Quote is from a Doctor Who Christmas Special, The Christmas Carol one.

 Allons-y!

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11 comments :

  1. Love that story! It made me smile and want to be just like Hannah, wearing nothing but sparkling reds and greens with ivy in my hair until New years!! Merry Christmas!

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  2. Ah yes a marathon of Doctor Who!! Love that;) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

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  3. Ahh! I loved that! Thanks for posting it! Merry Christmas, Jack!
    ~Holly

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  4. NO MATT, DON'T LEAVE US MATT!!!!!!!!!! Ehem. I don't know when I'm going to psych up the courage to watch him regenerate. I definitely won't be watching it on Christmas, that's much, much too depressing.

    Anyway, that Christmas pressie is very sweet. Maybe I'm just super emotional because it's Christmas or something, but I was sitting here reading, and I'm just like, "Sniff. Sniff sniff. Sniff. SNIIIIIIIIIIFFFF. *tear*" lol. It's *cute*. I *like* it.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!
    God bless.

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  5. That's a very nice Christmas story! Thank you for sharing.

    Becca and I won't be able to see the DW Christmas special tomorrow since we don't have cable. We'll have to find some other way. :)

    Merry Christmas!

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  6. First off, I'm am sorry I haven't been around to comment in ages!
    Secondly, that story was lovely. It made me sad and happy at the same time. And for some reason, it's made me want to paint my nails...
    I really enjoyed seeing that bit of Peter's life.
    And thirdly, I haven't had the guts to watch 11 leave yet, but I do want to watch it sometime soonish.

    Merry Christmas!
    Amy

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  7. I loved it! loved it loved it loved it :) Also I have this inexplicable connection to Hannah so I'm glad she gets some "screen time" as it were in this story. I'll be showing off my new copy of your book to all my new college friends in just a few days :)))

    (Also have you seen the Christmas special? I'd like to hear your thoughts on it before I spoil anything for you)

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  8. How did I not comment on this? I read it like a week ago...
    Anyway, I really enjoyed it! I love all the short stories that you post on here - like the one with Steed and his girl in each port. xD Are you going to assemble another short story collection? Volume One is getting lonely on my shelf.

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  9. That Christmas story made me all emotional and weepy. I love Peter so much, and Hannah is adorable :)

    God Bless!

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