charamei: First Doctor (DW1: One)
[personal profile] charamei
Title: The Doctor's First Noel
Rating: PG
Genre: Gentle humour, adventure, romance
Characters/Pairings: One, Susan, Ian/Barbara, three magi (deceased), three shepherds, a host of Lusicons, Joseph, Mary and one very holy baby.
Wordcount: 4156
Disclaimer: I don't own Doctor Who; I'm just playing in the BBC's sandbox for fun and practice.
Author's Note: If you're the sort of Christian who objects to a bit of gentle fun with regards the Nativity, you might want to avoid reading this. Rest assured that I mean no disrespect.
Summary:Ian, Barbara and Susan want to celebrate Christmas: the Doctor doesn't. Some aliens appear to have designs on the baby Jesus: the Doctor doesn't like that, either. And someone's got to take the place of the three wise men...

"I've just realised something," Ian said, poking his head through the door into the kitchen, where Barbara was trying to find something resembling a saucepan.

"Have you? What's that?"

"It's Christmas in a few days. We've completely lost track of time."

Barbara abandoned her search for cookware – they would just have to use the synthesiser again – and stood, considering this. "I think you're right. Yes, it must nearly be Christmas, mustn't it?"

"It is. Here, I don't suppose there's any chance of us getting something together, is there?"

Barbara, seeing where this was going, laughed. "You want me to make you a pudding, don't you?"


"I can't, I'm afraid. This kitchen is hopeless. There's not even a mixing bowl, look."

She pulled the cupboard open to show him. Ian bent over to have a look, then straightened up, shaking his head. "I don't know about you, Barbara, but I'm getting tired of always having my food in flavoured-block form."

"So am I," Barbara confessed. "That's why I was looking for a saucepan." An idea struck her. "Why don't you go and ask the Doctor about your Christmas party? Maybe we can convince him to find a pudding basin."

"I was rather hoping you could ask him. You know what he's like; he won't listen to a word I say."

He had a point; but the Doctor most likely wouldn't listen to her, either. Barbara frowned. What they needed was somebody who had experience with him. Somebody who he wanted to make happy. Somebody who would be, if possible, even more excited than they were...

"See if you can't get Susan to do it," she suggested, and Ian's face split into a grin.

"Of course. Barbara, you're a genius."

With that, he took off.


Susan, though she did not know it, was already on the case.

"Scrooge," she muttered to her copy of Transdimensional Engineering for Children Under Fifty and Idiots.

"Hmm? What's that, child?"

She would have to sneak Dickens onto his reading pile when he wasn't looking. "Well, you won't celebrate Otherstide, you won't have the Feast of Omega, the Glorification of Rassilon is right out -"

"I remembered your birthday," he objected.

"Yes, Grandfather, but that was months ago." Before he could start lecturing her on the benefits of patience, or worse, carry on the lesson, Susan continued hastily, "I just don't see why we can't celebrate their holidays, if you don't want to use ours. It sounds like fun, and I'm sure Barbara and Ian would appreciate it."

"My dear girl, I have better things to do with my time than to maunder about the universe celebrating the holy days of every obscure local cult I come across!"

"It's hardly obscure," Susan objected. "Over thirty per cent of humans in the 1960s celebrate it. Oh, go on, Grandfather, please."

"No, and that's final. Now, have you solved that problem yet?"

Susan sighed. "I don't think I understood the optical neutralisation properly."

"Oh, really, it's perfectly simple. The angular adjustment leads to a degree of molecular somatoacceleration, causing -"

There was an extraordinarily loud thump, and the TARDIS lurched violently sideways.

"Exactly that," the Doctor finished calmly, as they picked themselves up off the floor and dived for the console. "This isn't caused by a transdimensional failure, though. It seems to be -"

The identification came up in front of Susan. "Lusicons," she reported. "They're not attacking, they just seem to be in a bit of a hurry, that's all."

The Doctor snorted. "Lusicons? Hooligans, more like."

Ian came running in, Barbara hot on his heels. "What's happened?"

"Lusicons," Susan told them, then, seeing their confusion, expanded. "They're quite harmless – well, these ones are. They just seem to be in a hurry."

"Probably trying to escape the other lot of Lusicons that are no doubt chasing them," the Doctor said, and tapped the scanner control. "Notoriously divisive lot, Lusicons. No trouble at all to other species, but all they ever do is to war with one another."

"I heard talk of some kind of amnesty being planned just before we left home," Susan said. She liked Lusicons, on the whole; they were pleasant to look at and most of the ones who had left their homeworld had done so to avoid the war, frequently being pacifists. "They're all so tired of it, they just don't seem to know how to stop."

"Yes, well, that's as may be." The Doctor tapped the scanner control again, and tutted.

"Well, hadn't we better get out of here before the others turn up, if there's going to be a fight?" Ian suggested.

"In a minute, in a minute. It doesn't appear to be broken. How strange."

"What's strange?" Barbara asked.

"We appear to be orbiting the Earth. What could Lusicons want with the Earth, I wonder... Susan, switch to three-dimensional piloting. We're going to follow them."

At that moment, the predicted second group of Lusicons barged past them, and the Doctor, muttering dire threats, set the TARDIS to follow them instead.


The Lusicons were beautiful, Ian thought, gazing at them in awe from their hiding place behind a barn. They were energy creatures, translucent silver and gold, who seemed to naturally float some six feet in the air. It was this characteristic that had made it so easy for the Doctor to track them after the TARDIS landed rather off-course in an irrigation ditch.

He wasn't entirely sure where they were, but based on the landscape and the heat he had an idea it must be somewhere in the Middle East. Fortunately dusk seemed to be falling; in the noonday heat it must have been very hot indeed.

The Lusicons communicated by sound, which struck him as unusual for energy creatures. Couldn't complain, though; it did make it much easier to listen in. It was a strange language, even translated into English; lyrical and probably, in the original, rhythmic. Almost like singing.

"That one," one of them said, pointing at the sky, where a bright spot – which the Doctor and Susan had identified as the first Lusicon ship burning in the atmosphere – hung. Then it hesitated. "Or that one. Or... this is hopeless."

"Bethlehem," said a second. There were a whole host of them; at least twelve, in a huddle in the middle of the field. Of course, being aliens, he had no idea which was which, or even how a man was meant to tell them apart. "The old ones said it was over Bethlehem." It paused. "What is Bethlehem?"

"A settlement of the primitives," another – possibly the first – said. "It has some religious significance: the old ones were sent by a king to worship there. I do not think it is too far away from this place."

"How are the old ones?"

"The probe was too advanced." This one, whichever it was, sounded saddened. "They are dead. A tragic accident."

"Indeed. We must avoid a repetition. Nobody is to use the probe from now on." This one paused, then continued. Ian thought it might be the leader, if they had one. "We shall find this Bethlehem in other ways. Let us depart."

They did, floating at a reasonable nick in the general direction of the light in the sky. Ian and Barbara glanced at one another.

"Bethlehem?" she whispered.

"Well, at least we know where we are," he said.

At that moment, Susan, who they hadn't noticed slipping off, called them over. "I've found those poor old men they were talking about."

She had indeed: three of them, in wealthy array.

"The poor men," the Doctor said, and knelt to examine the bodies. "I've never known Lusicon mindprobes to kill before. Perhaps it was their age. Or maybe something in their diet..."

"They're Eastern," Barbara said. Her voice was shaking. "Look at their clothes, Ian. They're from the East."

"Yes," Ian said. He had the sense that Barbara was trying to tell him something, but couldn't think what. "And?"

"Gold, frankincense and myrrh," the Doctor reported, having swiftly checked the personal effects of all three men. "Nothing that should cause this sort of neural failure."

Susan's eyes went wide. "Oh!"

"A light over Bethlehem," Barbara said slowly, spelling it out for Ian. "Three wise men carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh, sent by a king to find something sacred so he can worship it. Ian... this is the Nativity."

"Jesus Christ," Susan said, which Ian felt was rather flippant under the circumstances.

The Doctor stood, pocketing the gifts the magi had been carrying. "We'd better catch up with them. There's no telling what damage the Lusicons could do to your planet's timeline if they interfere with this event." Not waiting for a response, he began to head in the opposite direction.

Ian was sure the old man was going senile sometimes. "It's this way, Doctor."

"Nonsense, my boy. We'll only be able to overtake them in the TARDIS. Now hurry up!"


It was Issur's turn to keep watch, his back to the fire to keep his night vision and prevent any prowling wolves from sneaking up on him or his flocks. Simon and Yafe slept on either side of him. Truth be told, he was starting to nod himself, and that was why he missed the appearance of the angel.

It must be an angel. It floated above his head, its body insubstantial, made of snaking bands of gold and silver. It was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen, and absolutely the most terrifying. So... alien.

He scrambled away from it, and shook Simon and Yafe's shoulders. They woke instantly – a man couldn't afford to sleep deeply out here.

"Do not be afraid," the angel said, and its voice was as sweet as any singing he had ever heard before. "I mean you no harm, but bring peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind." It hesitated. "Which way is Bethlehem, please?"

The shepherds stared at one another in mute surprise. Then Yafe, always quickest off the mark, pointed mutely in the correct direction.

"I thank you," the angel said, and continued, seemingly to itself, "We were right. Rise up, my friends, and follow the light to Bethlehem."

Then, to his amazement, more of them appeared. A whole host of angels, rising out of the very ground, singing, began to drift towards Bethlehem.

The shepherds watched them go in awe. Issur was just beginning to think that maybe he had dreamt the whole thing and it was safe to go back to sleep when there came the most hellish sound, a rending, screeching noise, and a large blue box moving at incredible speeds came into view, arriving at a dead stop a few feet above his head – exactly where the angel had been a moment ago.

The door opened and an old man in rich Persian clothing leaned out. "Pardon me, young man, but which way is Bethlehem?"

"That's not how it goes," a young voice objected, and a dark-haired boy joined the old man in the door. "Really, Grandfather. You have to start with 'Hallelujah, glory to God in the highest.'"

"Oh, shush, child. I don't have all night, young man. Which way to Bethlehem, hmm?"

"It's that way," Issur said automatically, for the old man was quite terrifying, then immediately regretted it. If the angels were of God, then this, the complete opposite, could only be...

"Thank you," the old man said, and the door slammed shut, only to open a second later to reveal the boy, who gave them an embarrassed grin.

"Peace on earth and to all men of good will," he said. "Rise up, O shepherds, and follow the star to Bethlehem, where the Lord your God is born this night, and, um..." he whistled a couple of bars of something which Issur did not recognise.

"Susan!" The old man's voice snapped, and the boy withdrew, shutting the door behind him. The Devil's box took off at the same speed as it had arrived.

This time, the shepherds waited a much longer time before daring to relax. When they did, Yafe said, hesitantly, "Do you think that was – and they were -"

"Yes," Issur said fervently, and shivered, suddenly cold.

Simon stood abruptly, snatching up his crook.

"Where are you going?" Issur asked.

"You heard the boy. The Lord our God is born in Bethlehem this night. The angels commanded us to rise up, too, so come on!"


Susan much preferred dressing as a boy in the Earth's past, if she could get away with it; the freedom was greater, and people were less likely to try to marry her. All the same, she doubted that she could pass for a wise man.

"Was that Deck the Halls?" Ian asked her, amused. "Oh, dear. Some choir of angels, eh?"

"Well, the Doctor wasn't exactly making it easy," Barbara pointed out.

"They looked terrified," Susan agreed. "Really, Grandfather."

"In my experience, dear child, there's little difference between true faith and bed-wetting terror." The Doctor flipped a couple of switches, dashed around the console, flipped a couple more, and announced, "We've landed. "


Being the only woman accompanying a group of three 'wise men', only two of whom were men and none of whom were wise, Barbara was getting a few odd looks as they walked through the little town.

The 'star' was still visible, far up above their heads. From this distance it was clear that it was in the atmosphere; although it was high up, it was possible to pinpoint it as being over a specific point, and they were heading purposefully in that direction.

There was no sign of the Lusicons. The Doctor had said that they were able to travel underground, through the rock, and would most likely do so to avoid causing a panic among the locals, but still, Barbara was starting to worry as they neared the point that the ship was hovering above.

They didn't bother with the front entrance, just went straight around to the stables, where a small crowd had gathered... five or six of them, all women, she noticed after a moment, and standing a little way away from them was a concerned-looking young man.

Ian walked up to him and had a conversation that was too quiet for her to hear, then hurried back. "You'll never guess who."

"Joseph," she said.

He looked rather disappointed. "You guessed."

"The first thing they'll do if a woman's giving birth is to get the men out of the way." And besides, she knew that look, equal parts panic and confusion, helplessness and happiness. Her brother had worn it for several hours last year.

One of the women plucked at her sleeve. "You here to help?"

Barbara looked around. The Doctor, Susan and Ian could look around out here, she supposed, and she was the only one who had a chance of getting into the stable at the moment if there were any Lusicons in there. She had a vague idea of how to deliver a baby... and a vague idea from the twentieth century was bound to be better in at least some ways than a good idea from the first.

"Yes," she said. "Yes, I'm here to help."

"Good. My husband runs this inn. Come with me; we need to boil water."

Barbara nodded, and followed her.


Two hours passed. The Doctor, Ian and Susan had no luck finding the Lusicons; several times the Doctor's tracking device located them under the ground, but they could not hear him, and all he achieved by shouting at the ground was some very strange looks, and nearly getting bowled over by a group of shepherds as they dashed past.

They eventually went to wait outside the stable; not giving up, but deciding that it would be simpler to wait for the Lusicons to show themselves. And it was there that Barbara found them, her eyes sparkling with something that Ian could not quite identify.

"Come and see," she whispered, and tugged his hand. "He's adorable."

They let her lead them into the stable, where the baby was sleeping quietly in his mother's arms. Perhaps it was his imagination, but there did seem to be something amazing about the place, something... holy.

Susan whispered something to the Doctor, who responded with a short, "Psychosomatic," then raised his voice slightly to encompass Ian and Barbara as well. "Have those tomfool shepherds been through yet?"

"Yes," Barbara murmured back, and nodded to them, huddled in a corner and regarding the TARDIS crew with big eyes.

"Good. Then let's get this over with, hmm?" The Doctor stepped forwards, and raised his voice again, this time to encompass the whole room. "We three wise men come from the East to bring these gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus, born King of the Jews and Saviour of the World."

They'd got the lines from Coal Hill's nativity play, which Barbara had been directing before they'd begun travelling with the Doctor. They were ham to say the least, but, Ian reflected, at least there wouldn't be any doubt about what was going on.

The Doctor, with some assistance from Susan, knelt. Ian and Susan followed suit. The stable let out a collective gasp.

They should say something, he realised. The play hadn't had any lines for this moment, but the real event should, and as he looked up at the beaming young mother and flipped through all the Christmas stuff he could imagine, he thought he knew what they were.

He'd never been able to get the line right. No matter how often he was told off for it, it just slipped out, time and time again. Must be the Devil in him, his mother had always said. Well, he'd better get it right this time, hadn't he?

"Most highly flavoured gravy," he said, and offered his gift. Mary stared at him.

"Ian!" Barbara hissed, somewhere between scandalised and deeply amused.

"Favoured lady!" He corrected, but it was too late. "Most highly favoured lady."

Susan covered her giggles by helping the Doctor to stand again. Joseph, looking rather bemused, collected their gifts and thanked them.

Ian, face burning with embarrassment, stood and retreated to the relative safety of Barbara's company. To his relief, she seemed to have decided to go the route of finding it funny, and just shook her head as he began to offer an explanation.

The Doctor and Susan joined them. The happy parents swaddled the baby and laid him in the manger, and then, just as Ian was beginning to think they might have come to the wrong place after all, the Lusicons appeared.

They rose from the floor in all their golden and silvery glory. Several people fainted right away; those that didn't either averted their eyes or backed away, or both.

The Lusicons picked their way over to the manger, and regarded it in silence for a moment, which gave the Doctor ample time to get over to them. "I must say, you're causing quite a stir. What precisely do you gentlemen want, hmm?"

One of them glanced over at him in surprise. "You are not afraid of us?"

"I'm not local. Now, this is a key event in this planet's history, so would you kindly tell me what you think you're doing messing it up like this?"

"We wished to seek the advice of the one who brought peace to this world," the speaker said. "We hoped he could do the same for ours. But he is small and does not seem to understand, and resembles the grubs that feed on the salwa trees of our northern hemisphere."

"Hold on," Ian said. "You came here... to convert?"

"Of course," the Doctor said. "Your people are born fully-formed, if inexperienced, aren't you?"

"We are."

"Humans aren't. This one won't be the man you're looking for for thirty years."

"Oh," the Lusicon said. It sounded disappointed.

"And you can't stay on this planet for thirty years," the Doctor added. "The chances of history going wrong are too great."

Barbara, Ian noticed, was glancing about as though worried by something. He touched her arm. "You all right?"

"I can't help but feel that we've forgotten something," she said quietly. "Something important."

"Such as what? We've got Mary, Joseph, shepherds, wise men, the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger..."

"The other set of Lusicons," Susan realised, at the same moment as they began to surface through the floor. "That's what we forgot."

The Doctor waited until the other Lusicons had their heads through the floor, then said, sharply, "And what do you want, hmm?"

"To stop them," the nearest head said, and nodded in the direction of the first set. "We all want peace, but this is not the way to go about it."

The strange, musical chatter of the first set of Lusicons stopped abruptly, replaced by something more discordant... angrier. "You followers of Oreancolus are cowards. You claim to want peace, yet all you do is to prevent others from achieving it. You are the reason the amnesty failed!"

"High talk coming from an acolyte of Idossanan. At the battle of the Omani you were the first to run!"

"The battle of the Omani was five hundred years ago!"

"Oh, for goodness' sake," Barbara said loudly, and all eyes fell on her. "Would you listen to yourselves? One of you has to be the first to turn the other cheek, or you'll never get anywhere. That's all Jesus taught, when it comes down to it. Swallow your pride, forgive and forget!"

"And shush," Mary said, surprising everyone. "You'll wake the baby."

Barbara apologised. The Lusicons looked at one another for a long time, then one of the Idossananites stepped forward and, very formally, turned its head to the side. One of the Oreancolans, after another pause, did likewise.

It took Ian a moment to realise what they were doing; interpreting 'turn the other cheek' literally.

"Well done, Barbara," he whispered, and she smiled, flushed with her success.

The Doctor sprang back into action. "Yes, yes, very good. Now perhaps we could all get off this planet, hmm? You lot, go home and spread the word, and I'm sure everything will work out. Ian, Barbara, Susan, come along."

He strode out of the stable, followed by Susan. Ian made to follow, but Barbara, suddenly thinking of something, went over to the Lusicons as they began to ascend towards the ship, took something from her pocket and pressed it into his hand, before going to join Ian.

He glanced at her as they hurried to catch up with the Doctor. "What did you give him?"

"My Gideon Bible."

"Ah," Ian said. "Are you sure that was a good idea? They'll have had three church schisms before they so much as break orbit."

"Oh, probably," she laughed. "Just as long as 'most highly flavoured gravy' doesn't make it into their official text. Really, Ian, of all the times to get it wrong..."


Ian came into the console room a few days later to find it decked with boughs of holly, paper chains and a fair amount of tinsel. There were even paper chains on the console itself, and there was a truly delicious smell coming from the kitchen.

"I say," he said.

Susan, sat on the floor with her textbooks, looked up and smiled at him. "Merry Christmas, Ian."

"I say," Ian said again.

"Is that Ian up at last?" The kitchen door opened and Barbara emerged, holding a wooden spoon with a glob of cake mix on it. "Taste this for me. The Doctor's hopeless at it, and he keeps eating all my raisins."

Ian, not entirely sure that he believed the implications of that statement, craned past her. In the kitchen, which had miraculously developed cookware since the last time he'd been in here, was the Doctor, in an orange paper crown. He was indeed eating the raisins.

"Good morning," he said, when he caught Ian staring at him. "Are you going to taste that for her or not, hmm?"

Ian, not entirely sure if he was still dreaming or not, did as he was told and leaned in to taste the contents of the spoon. As he did so, Susan called from the console room, "I put mistletoe on that door, you know."

They looked up. There was indeed mistletoe there. It wasn't even plastic.

"Oh, well, then I've no choice," Ian said, and, for the first time in his life, kissed Barbara Wright. That was real enough, he decided.

They managed to stay uninterrupted for a full minute before the Doctor barged past them. "You didn't get enough raisins, my dear."

The spell broke. Barbara sighed; Ian rolled his eyes at her.

It was, altogether, a very enjoyable Christmas.


Date: 2008-12-10 03:28 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
OH my lord. I've always wanted to see more of the First Doctor. And now that I'vegotten back to the series (well, I'm only 25, so...foursy and fivesy, yeah?) I do love him so. He's so...beautiful and magickal.

Date: 2008-12-10 04:53 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This was wonderful in every way, and I laughed out loud at "most highly favoured gravy". Brilliant. Thank you.

(torn_eledhwen on LJ)

Date: 2008-12-10 09:26 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Loved that

Being the only woman accompanying a group of three 'wise men', only two of whom were men and none of whom were wise, Barbara was getting a few odd looks as they walked through the little town. - that was absolute genius - *giggles*

Date: 2008-12-10 09:38 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
That was really rather fun, and no, not offensive.

Was Ian a choir boy as a kid, by any chance? Anyway, as someone who very nearly did describe Mary as 'having found flavour with God' at the last carol service I read at, I feel his pain.

(tree-and-leaf on lj)

Date: 2008-12-10 11:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charamei []
[DWFic link, for my own review-whoring purposes (]

Date: 2008-12-10 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
This was incredible. Such great work.
Man... this totally puts me in the holiday spirit.

And I really, really love the idea of the First Doctor eating all the raisins :D

Date: 2008-12-13 02:26 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh, I have the biggest smile on my face right now! You had all their voices so perfect that I could every line of dialogue as if I were watching in on the show. (Though luckily my mind's eye is in color, not black and white. *g*)

This was just perfect, every word of it. I laughed several times and grinned through the rest. And you even worked in an Ian/Barbara kiss. Yay!


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