The Gift
An Eighth Doctor & Sam Jones Story
by Rebecca Dowgiert

They went walking on the boulevard after the matinee
performance of The Nutcracker let out.  They strolled along, 
looking in the shop windows, alongside holiday shoppers and
throngs of excited children.
   Sam had been coaxed into full Victorian dress for the
occasion. She'd sauntered into the Console Room, disdainful 
of the deep red gown she wore, but the Doctor had later seen 
her running an admiring hand down the gathered silk skirt.
   Her hair, though grown out a bit from the close-crop it 
had been when she had first met him, was still short, too 
short for convention.  They'd ignored the curious glances 
cast their way in the theater, but disapprobation voiced
itself more directly on the street, in the person of nosy Mrs.
   Sam, wandering ahead of the Doctor, was peering
into a shop window full of books when she turned and found
herself staring at a formidable plaid bosom.  Following the line
of the coat's maroon buttons up, her eyes met those of a
middle-aged matron.
   The woman was looking down at her with disapproval.
   "Oh, my dear," the lady said mournfully, "whatever happened to your
hair?"   Sam tilted her head and peered at the lady, considering.
 Several possible answers flashed through her mind, some of them
   Then she smiled mischievously, recalling that story
she'd read back in school, two years ago, and said:   "I sold
   The matron's eyebrows shot up.  "My goodness..."
   "To buy him a watch chain."  A thumb jerked backwards.  Mrs. 
McGillicudy looked, and saw behind the girl a very pleasant-looking 
young man with light brown curls and the bluest eyes, wearing 
a handsome dark green velvet frock coat.   He smiled, glanced down, 
and lifted the chain running between his waistcoat pockets to
reveal - a bare fob.
   He shrugged, the smile turning rueful,then reached into a
 pocket of his coat and drew out - a tortoise-shell hair comb.
 He held it up for her appraisal as he nodded meaningfully at
Sam.   A gloved hand flew to Mrs. McGillicudy's mouth.   Sam
glanced behind her to see what had startled the lady so and saw
the comb.  Her own eyebrows rose. Then she looked back at the
lady, her expression matching the Doctor's.
   "Well... Er... My goodness."  Mrs. McGillicudy smiled
bemusedly.  "Good day to you, then."
   She went on her way, shaking her head.  Sam watched her go.
   The Doctor turned his head.  A short distance away, a man
carrying several notebooks in ink-stained hands was standing,
watching them.  He'd obviously seen the whole exchange, and his
face bore an expression of intrigued amusement.
   The Doctor's eyes met his and he nodded a friendly greeting to
the gentleman, before turning away and continuing down the
   Sam followed.  He was grinning broadly.
   "Doctor," Sam asked in sudden suspicion, peering at him with
narrowed eyes, "What are you so happy about?"

Fin.  =-)

Doctor Who is copyright the BBC.
All else is copyright Rebecca Dowgiert 1997.
No profit is being made from this story.