A Heart-Warming Holiday Scene(tm) from the Land of Fiction...
by Rebecca Dowgiert

"Right. Got it, Professor. We're ready on our end." Ace lowered her gloved wrist with its attendant comlink, and raised her digital binocs to her eyes, staring over the white surface of the snowfield that stretched out below. Lowering them, she turned to look at Benny, where the dark-haired woman crouched close beside her, her breath smoking out from under the fringe of her parka's hood.

"He's on his way. Just as scheduled."

Benny looked expectant. "So, if you time it just right, then--"

Ace shot her a somewhat scornful look. "Time it right? I am a professional, y'know."

Benny rolled her eyes at her friend's put-on of wounded pride. "It's just that an avalanche would be really easy to start around here."

"Mmm." Ace turned back to check on the progress of their quarry again. "Okay...there he is...right...come on, come on..."

Benny leaned forward, squinting at the sleigh loaded and over-loaded with an enormous bag, crammed with packages and presents. A forlorn, bare Christmas tree poked out of the top. Incredibly, it appeared to be pulled by what looked like one small...dog, who, spurred on by the theatrical whip-snapping of the driver, was dashing along frenetically. They slowed and came to a stop at the edge of a prepice. The driver, some kind of alien, obviously -- fuzzy, with cat-like eyes -- scrambled to the top of the sleigh and leaned forward, as if listening for something coming from below.

"Ha, ha -- steal Christmas, will you, you cad!" Benny muttered. Ace slanted an amused glance her way. "Quiet, now!" the former Dalek-hunter commanded. "Don't distract me!"

"Yes, ma'am!"

Ace leaned forward, her finger on the detonator switch. "All right...NOW!"

Poom The detonation made little noise; Benny felt it as a muffled vibration. There did not seem to be any immediate effect on the sleigh, except that the dog looked around, as if startled. The driver did not seem to have noticed.

The sleigh sat for a few moments, then almost imperceptibly at first, began to slide towards the nearby cliff-edge.

The two woman gaped as the driver and dog tried desperately but futilely to stop it. The familiar sound of the TARDIS materializing nearby was unable to tear their attention away from the disaster unfolding in front of them.

"Oh, cruk," Ace said softly, watching through the binocs.

Benny glanced over her shoulder as she heard the door to the TARDIS open and a *scrunch scrunch* of footsteps on snow.

The Doctor was smiling, an expression which faltered at the look he saw on Benny's face.

"What is it? Did something go wrong?" he asked, hurrying over.

Benny merely pointed at the hapless sleigh, where it hung, teetering on the edge of the prepice.

She blinked as the Doctor rocked back on his heels, sticking his hands in his jacket pockets. Needless to say, he wasn't bundled up in a parka, but was merely sporting his usual suit. "Oh, that's* all right," he chuckled, relieved. "Everything's going as expected."

Ace turned to add her narrow gaze to Benny's. "They're about to fall to their doom! What's funny about that?"

He shook his head. "No, no. He's a Grinch -- he can handle this easily. He just has to come to the conclusion that he wants to." He abruptly pointed. "Watch!"

Ace and Benny swiveled their heads around and felt their jaws drop as the alien, hanging desperately onto the sliding sleigh, suddenly dragged it back from the edge of the cliff and raised it on high, grinning in triumph.

"Holy frag...!"

The Doctor smiled slightly. "Grinches possess a remarkable ability to access astounding amounts of strength in times of great stress. It's their analog to your own adrenaline bursts." He with approval at the scene below, as the grinning Grinch hopped back on the sleigh and turned it back towards the valley below, where it would be warmly received. "I suppose I should have mentioned that..." he commented, absently.

Ace and Benny looked at him, then at each other, calculating the number of gray hairs that they'd just gained. Coming to a quick, mutual decision as to the next reasonable course of action, they smiled evilly at each other, then reached forward, grabbing handfuls of snow and scrambling to their feet.

The Doctor swallowed uneasily. "Now, Ace...Benny...don't do anything hasty..." he advised them, backing away.

Ace grinned her best feral grin. "Oh, don't worry, Professor...I'm gonna take the time to aim this just right..."


Benny smirked. "What she said."

"Oh, dear..."


An incongruous Scottish burr suddenly rolled out over the snow field "You iniquitous fiends! Take that!"

Moments later, the snowballs flew fast and furious.

Whoville, somewhat later

"Some roast beast?" the Grinch inquired politely, turning to the short, dark-haired man with the obscure accent who was sitting next to him.

"No, thank you. But I *will* have some more of that delicious Who Pudding."

"Of course." The Grinch reached forward and brought the platter within the Time Lord's reach.

"Thank you." The Doctor deftly scooped a generous serving onto his own plate.

"Happy Christmas!" a young voice piped up from down at the end of the table. "Happy, Happy Christmas!"

Everyone looked. It was little Cindy-Lou, the littlest Who in Whoville. The Grinch smiled beneficently.

Just across the table, another guest rolled her eyes. "If this gets any sweeter, I'm gonna go into hyperglycemic shock," Ace grumbled to Benny, who merely smiled.

Having made her token protest, Ace then settled back to thoroughly enjoy herself.


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