Title: The Saturnalia Deviation
Characters: Eleventh Doctor, Amy, Rory, The Big Bang Theory ensemble, original character
Warnings: A mention of sexual assault
Summary: The Doctor, Amy and Rory celebrate Christmas 2008 on Earth, more specifically in Pasadena, California. But there's something weird going on with our favourite scientists.
Author's Note: I call this gen, but I acknowledge the canon pairings (Amy/Rory, future Leonard/Priya). Romance is definitely not the focus of this story, but there will be plenty of friendly kissing. Takes place between A Christmas Carol and The Impossible Astronaut for the TARDIS crew, and between the two last scenes of The Bath Gift Item Hypothesis for the BBT gang. Canon compliant for DW, AU from the start of the fic for BBT.
Word count: About 5,500
"OK, now we've done the whole 'save a planet for Christmas' thing," Amy said. "I want a regular, Earth Christmas. One with turkey, presents and no aliens. Other than my favourite one, of course." She blew a kiss at the Doctor, who blushed.
"Well... I guess we could do that, but where would we go? I'm not welcome in London for Christmas, and Leadworth is boring. How about a Christmas in sunny Florida, USA, Earth? Since Rory missed out on Space Florida."
"Beaches, warmth, sure. I'm in." She twirled around the central column, petting the controls and finally settling down in the pilot seat.
The Doctor leaned over the TARDIS console room railing, shouting at Rory down below. "Rory! Florida Christmas, how about it?"
"Sure! I'm turning the blue knob down here, is that the right one?"
"Blue hexagonal or octogonal?"
"Octogonaaaargh!" The TARDIS shook violently, and Amy fell out of her seat.
"I said hexagonal!" the Doctor shouted as the TARDIS materialised.
"You said no such thing," Rory objected. "You said 'the blue knob, you should recognise it because it's blue.' You always do that." Amy opened the door and left her boys to argue. It was warm but cloudy outside, just the right temperature for her short jean skirt and bright red top. (Not dressed for Rio in Wales, this time.) Her heels clicked on the pavement, and she saw a Starbucks. Probably about her own time, then, but they could be anywhere.
Late, late, late again! Penny swore internally and grabbed her takeout coffee. Sheldon's words rang in her ears. "If you'd take more care to be punctual, your risk of unemployment in this economy would decline sharply." Easy for him to say, he had Leonard as a driver and general minder. She chugged half of her latte and took a big bite of her apple muffin. Ah, sugar and caffeine! Food of the gods and of blonde waitresses who hated getting up in the morning (or in the early afternoon if she was honest with herself). She closed her eyes and allowed herself a tiny moment of hot, milky goodness. Of course, that was when she walked straight into the other woman. They both collapsed in a heap outside the coffee shop, and Penny prepared herself for an outburst. When their eyes met, the redhead didn't shout at her. She giggled, instead.
"Watch out," she said in a British accent. Scottish, maybe?
"I'm sorry," Penny replied. They untangled and helped each other up. "Love the boots, by the way."
"Thanks! They're my favourite pair." She showed them off, and Penny nodded, as one experienced shoe shopper to another. "I'm Amy, by the way. Uhm..." She paused. "We're kind of lost. Can you help us out?" Oh, no, she didn't have time for this, but she had liked Amy instantly, with her wide grin and infectious giggle. Penny made up her mind.
"If you're hungry, I can take you along to the Cheesecake Factory, where I work, and I'll try to help you out between tables."
"I'll just go get my boys, then." Amy jogged around the corner, shouting. "Oi, come on then, stop arguing." A minute later, she was back with a pair of geeky looking young men. The shorter one reminded her of her own boys, but the taller man was wearing extremely odd clothes, including a red bowtie. His outfit looked like something Sheldon could have worn if he was trying to dress up. Was there a geek anti-fashion conspiracy? Penny showed them all to her car, wondering what she was getting into.
Amy had told her boys to shut up and let her do the talking. She shoved them into the back seat, and sat beside Penny in her tiny car.
"So, where are you guys from?" Penny asked.
"Leadworth. It's tiny and in the middle of nowhere. Me and Rory," she gestured towards him, "that's my husband..."
"He's cute," Penny interrupted.
"I know!" They shared a smile. "Anyway, we're sort of assistants to the Doctor," she gestured towards him and he gave one of his goofy grins to the rear view mirror.
"Just a heads up, there are three doctors and a Mr. Wolowitz among my closest friends, one of the doctors a double PhD, so I don't think you can call him that if we meet them. It'd be so confusing. What's your name, doctor?"
"John Smith," he said, without a second of hesitation.
"And are you a doctor-doctor or a research doctor?"
"Among other things, yes." Amy rolled her eyes fondly. "Wolowitz... That sounds familiar." He thought about it. She was familiar with that thinking face. "Would that happen to be a Mr. Howard Wolowitz?"
"Yeah! How do you know him?"
"You can say I've heard of him. Does that mean that your friend with a double PhD is doctor Sheldon Lee Cooper, by any means?"
Penny braked suddenly and stared at the Doctor. "Whoa. You know Sheldon, too?"
"I've never met him, but I'm familiar with his work. You can say that I'm using it every day in my own field."
"Boy, are you in for a treat! They usually go to the Cheesecake Factory on Tuesdays. It'll be so much fun to introduce you. Let's just say that they're all a bit weird, but Sheldon is the king of strange."
"You think your friend is strange?" Amy stage whispered with a glance at the Doctor. "You ain't seen nothing yet."
"You have no idea."
Penny showed John, Amy and Rory to a table a bit from the guys' usual one and took their orders. Amy and Rory had completely normal preferences. John ordered fish and chips, and asked for custard as a side dish. She could see Amy kicking him under the table.
"I'm sorry, we don't have custard. Would a bowl of vanilla ice cream do?"
"Never mind him," Amy said with a glare at him. "Just get him fish and chips as it is on the menu."
Penny's friends arrived, Sheldon with his latest annoying grad student Jaynie in tow. "Hiya, guys! There are some people here who would love to meet you. Especially you, Sheldon." She enjoyed the panicked look on his face for a second, before reassuring him. "Oh, don't worry. They've heard of your work. You're not in trouble. I'll bring your drinks first, and then I'll introduce them."
"You see, Sheldon," Jaynie simpered. "You're famous. I knew your work would be recognized." Penny rolled her eyes, and wished Sheldon could get a clue, hopefully soon. She decided to do the introductions properly.
"Guys, this is doctor John Smith, and Amy and Rory Pond."
"Williams," Rory corrected her.
"Sorry, Amy Pond and Rory Williams. John, Amy, Rory, this is doctor Sheldon Cooper, doctor Leonard Hofstadter, doctor Rajesh Koothrappali, mister Howard Wolowitz and... Oh, what's your name again, sweetie?" She knew very well what Jaynie's name was, but she loved poking the tall chubby brunette.
"Jaynie Holst," she said, and the icy glare she gave Penny told her Jaynie was fully aware of the thinly veiled insult.
"Doctor Cooper!" John exclaimed, arms waiving as he closed in on the whackadoodle. Before anybody knew what was happening, he had kissed Sheldon's cheeks and was holding his shoulders. "It's such a pleasure to meet you!" No, no, no, no, not Sheldon! He made a squeaking noise and jumped up from his chair in terror, tearing John's hands away.
"The crazy person has a major germ phobia," Howard said. Sheldon found his travel sized bottle of hand sanitizer in his messenger bag, and started disinfecting his hands and cheeks. That had got to burn.
"Doctor," Amy said to John, and led him away to Rory, who took over holding him back gently. "We're so sorry for this. He's just excitable, like a puppy, and he's got no tact what so ever. I think he picked up a few bad habits when we were in France." She smiled, and held her hand out for Leonard to shake. The tactic appeared to work. Oh, Leonard. Always so easy to manipulate for anyone with a pretty face.
"Sure, just... Don't touch Sheldon again without his permission, OK? I have to live with him, and he goes more batshit crazy when he's upset."
"For the record, I'm not crazy. My mother had me tested." It was the first thing Sheldon had said since they came in, and Penny suspected it was a reflex.
"Apologise!" Amy whispered to John.
"I'm sorry, doctor Cooper. I was just so excited to see the man behind so many great discoveries. My own work relies on yours. You have a wonderful mind." That was the way to go with Sheldon. Flatter his brain. A tiny hint of a smile played on his lips. Leonard, on the other hand, apparently got suspicious.
"So, doctor Smith, what's your field of study?"
"This and that, but mostly nanomedicine. Rory's my research nurse, and Amy is my assistant. That way, I get to focus on the important things." John pulled a chair from a table next to Sheldon and Leonard, and they started talking science.
It was all just jibber-jabber to Penny. "I'm just going to assume you'll order your usuals," she said to the scientists.
"A taco, no cheese or sour cream for me, please," Jaynie said.
"Huh. Are you lactose intolerant, too?"
"Among other things."
"Just let me know. We're used to handling special diets."
Leonard watched the newcomers with suspicion. He could imagine John was a scientist, he certainly was eccentric enough to be a professor, but Rory confused him. He couldn't understand why the couple chose to travel with the strange man, especially since Rory's wife flirted with them both indiscriminately. He imagined himself in the same position, and could feel the jealousy brewing. Nevertheless, they were pleasant enough to talk to, and John seemed genuinely interested in both his and Sheldon's work. They spent the dinner talking about nanomedicine and particle physics. Mostly physics, actually. John was very well acquainted with the latest theories on the beginning of the universe and quantum gravity. Rory couldn't quite hold his own when it came to the science, but he injected a few hospital anecdotes in the conversation. Amy talked to Penny in between her tables, and when she didn't, she flirted with all of them, including Sheldon. Jaynie gave her the stink eye at that.
Howard exploited the situation, as expected. "Fräulein Pond, mein Liebchen, du bist wunderbar."
"I think you'll find that she's Frau Pond," Rory said firmly.
"Hey," Leonard said, changing the subject before the situation got uncomfortable, "Would you like to come over to our place after dinner?"
"We'd be delighted," Rory said.
Penny apparently overheard. "Oh, yay! Amy, I'll come pick you up for some girl talk after my shift." Leonard loved making her happy, and none of their new acquaintances seemed like a romantic threat.
When they all had gone back to 2311 Los Robles, Rory looked around at their collection of sci-fi paraphernalia, including the picture of Sheldon and Leonard in the Time Machine. "Is that really the Time Machine?" he asked.
"Yes! It was gorgeous, but we had to get rid of it. It gave Sheldon nightmares."
"It wasn't my idea to sell it. You were the one who complained that it was repelling women. I'm not constantly trying to achieve coitus."
Amy shared a smile with John. "Very pretty," she said. "It reminds me of something."
Penny burst through the door without knocking. "Hiya guys! This is going to be so much fun, Amy! First girls' night in forever!" Jaynie didn't move from her spot at Sheldon's feet, where she was busy massaging his shins and feet. Apparently, she understood the invitation was not directed at her. Amy and Penny left, giggling.
John had been standing by the wall a little while, looking around. He was playing with his multi-tool. Or was it a pocket light? It made a curious buzzing sound.
Jaynie reacted instantly, turning towards him and then turning away just as quickly. "Sheldon, take care of yourself and your beautiful mind. You need sleep for an optimal cognitive function. I have to go home now, but I'll see you tomorrow in the cafeteria." He nodded at her, and obediently went to bed.
When all the women had left, Raj spoke for the first time since they entered the Cheesecake factory. "Holy Cow, it's good to be rid of her. She's a walking fart joke. Worse than you are, Leonard."
"Tell me," John said, "how long have you known her?"
"Just a couple of weeks," Leonard replied as he opened the windows. "She's one of Sheldon's grad student fans."
"Is this Sheldon's current work?" He pointed at the whiteboard near the kitchen.
"Yeah, he's been busy with the heavy particles of the early universe."
Amy and Penny ended up half-lying, draped over separate ends of Penny's couch, legs touching in the middle. Two giant bowls with the remains of chocolate chip ice cream were abandoned on the table. "Yeah, she's annoying, but not the worst by far," Penny said. "Every semester, new grad students throw themselves at him. I don't know why, I guess the geek vibe is too hard to resist. Really, he's the king of geeks. Anyway, there was Ramona, who was batshit crazy, and didn't let him do anything but work. He threw her out after a few weeks. I guess Halo withdrawal was too much for him. Just a few days later, Kathy showed up. She allowed him his playtime, so I thought they'd just go on forever in their freaky almost relationship, but then she came this close," she measured out a small space between thumb and forefinger, "to violating him. I had to drag her by the hair from where she was straddling him. I left her on the street, kicking and screaming, half naked. So yeah, Jaynie is a pest, and her farts stink to high heaven, but it could be worse."
"I sort of get what they see in him."
"Well, yeah, you've got yourself tall, dark and geeky on the side, am I right?"
"Shut up!" Amy slapped Penny's shin slightly, and Penny laughed. "The Doctor is just my best friend."
"Sorry, I shouldn't even joke about cheating. It's just that I went out with this hot physicist, Dave, a while ago, and he was married, the bastard."
"There's a good guy out there who's right for you."
Penny wrinkled her nose. "I don't think so. And after I had two dates with Dave, Leonard went all jealous about it. I don't want a bad boy with tons of muscle, but I don't want to settle for Leonard either, just because he's there and adores me like I'm some kind of goddess."
"I can see that. He doesn't seem like anything special."
"Yeah, that's the problem. How did you and Rory meet? I need to hear about at least one couple with a happy ending."
"We've known each other since we were kids. Do you want the long and complicated story, or the short one?"
"The long story, duh. We've got all night."
"The Doctor is rather involved."
"I still don't get why you call him that."
"It's the only name I've ever known him by."
"Oh. That's weird."
"Yeah, that's what I thought when I met him the first time. I was seven, and I had just moved from Scotland to England, and I hated it. My parents were gone, and I was living with my aunt. The Doctor, a raggedy man who talked to me like I wasn't a stupid kid, dropped out of the sky one night, and helped me get rid of something that scared me. He promised he'd take me with him, he just needed five minutes. So I waited. I waited all night, and he didn't come. I kept hoping that he'd show up, and I told everyone about him. That earned me four different psychiatrists, by the way. Rory was the only one who listened. We'd play Raggedy Doctor sometimes."
"Oh yeah? I bet he was smitten with you already."
Amy smiled. "Totally. Anyway, I grew up, got tired of waiting for the Doctor, sort of got involved with Rory and started working as a kissogram."
"Whatever you do, do not tell Howard."
"He's kind of a creep, right?"
"You have no idea. I've had to get rid of three webcams from my apartment. One in the shower."
"Eww. Finally, the Doctor came back. Twelve years after he left, and he said it was five minutes for him. I knocked him out with a cricket bat."
"Girl's best friend. I've got a baseball bat under my bed, and one in the kitchen."
"He convinced me it really had only been five minutes for him, and with the help of Rory, we took out an alien that had been living in my house forever."
"Yes! Giant alien shape-shifting snake!"
"I'm going to need a drink before I believe you."
"Yeah, I know what it sounds like. Just go with it, alright?"
"Rum and coke?"
"I'm good. So, then the Doctor left again, the bastard, and I was devastated. Rory was there for me, and he asked me to marry him. The night before my wedding, the Doctor came back, and I left with him."
"Oh, yes, I did. And after I told him about the wedding, I kissed him. So he went and fetched Rory from his stag party." Amy laughs at the memory. "This is where it gets really odd. I wanted both of them, but the Doctor's subconscious made me choose, and I chose Rory after he died in a dream world. Then Rory died for real, was erased from the universe, came back as a plastic Roman, killed me and watched over me for 2 000 years. A younger version of me revived me, and then we restarted the universe without the Doctor, but brought him back again at our wedding. Penny?"
"I kind of got lost at where he died."
"Told you, it's a long and complicated story."
"Sounds like Leonard and Sheldon would like to hear that. They're all about time travel and sci-fi stuff."
"I don't know why the Doctor didn't want to let them know about him."
"Who is he, really, if twelve years is five minutes to him? I just don't get it."
"He's a madman with a box. Time travelling alien."
"OK, then your story makes more sense. Still crazy, though."
"I know." There was a knock on the door.
Penny opened the door, and waved the Doctor and Rory inside.
"Amy," Rory said, "we have a problem."
"Sheldon Cooper is working on something that will lead him to discover time travel thirty years too early, which will threaten the integrity of the space-time continuum. I think there's an alien involved. A Slitheen, to be specific."
"Slitheen?" Amy asked.
"Unpleasant types, usually wears skin suits made of dead people."
"Who's the Slitheen?"
"I knew there was something wrong with her," Penny said.
"Very wrong," the Doctor said. "Let's confront her. Leonard is also coming."
"How much does he know?" Penny asked.
"Not much. But I get the feeling Amy told you more than I wanted her to."
After a quick stop at a toy store and the food store around the corner, they loaded up their new Super Soakers with vinegar.
"This, for the record," Leonard said as they gathered outside Jaynie's apartment on campus, "is the silliest thing I've ever done, and I've dressed up in full Klingon warrior gear in July."
"Don't worry," the Doctor said, "we're almost there. You'll see that this is not the least bit silly. First, I want you to test what would happen if you hit each other." There was a moment of silence, and then they shot each other.
"We smell like gherkins, but other than that, nothing," Rory said.
"Good. No, great! Now, we need to break into her apartment and shoot her."
"With our water pistols?" Penny asked.
"Yes, just do it, you'll see!" He buzzed at the door with his green-glowing tool, and it opened. They could see a giant green monster asleep on the bed.
"That's Jaynie?" Leonard hissed.
The green thing awoke, and studied them with her big black eyes. "Doctor," it said, the voice sounding distorted.
"Slitheen," he answered. It started running towards them, with raised arms and claws spread wide. "Now! Shoot!" They sprayed the thing with vinegar, and it exploded in a mess of green goo. "Space-time is safe." The Doctor blew over the muzzle of his water gun and turned towards Leonard. "And that's why I'm called the Doctor."
The Doctor kept talking, but the rest of them were silent on the trip home. "Doctor," Leonard said as he parked his car. "I don't believe your story."
"What? Oh, I might have exaggerated a bit, but I really did fight Jaynie's relatives with a future prime minister of Great Britain."
"No, your story about being a nanomedicine scientist. I'm grateful you saved Sheldon, don't get me wrong, but I want to know who you are."
"I'm the last of the Time Lords. I travel time and space with my human companions, righting wrongs, fighting evil and running for my life."
"Yeah. That's a really bad lie."
"It's true," Amy said. "Doctor, show him the TARDIS."
"It's his time machine."
"I'll do better than that. Leonard Hofstadter, prepare for your Christmas present! I'll show you your future!"
"Ghost of Christmas future, that kind of thing?"
"Naw, I already did that. Come along, Leonard." The two of them entered a blue box outside a coffee shop, and Leonard stared around in awe.
"It's bigger..." the Doctor mouthed silently.
"It's a whole different dimension!" Leonard said. "And it's so beautiful." The lights twinkled in reply.
"She's a living organism, and, may I add, very susceptible to flattery. Aren't you, dear? Do you believe me yet, Leonard?"
"I believe that you have a phone box with a pocket dimension inside."
"Well then, prepare to be amazed!" He threw a switch, and the TARDIS groaned. "A tiny jump in space and a hop to the left in time." The Doctor peeked out. "All clear. Boston Commons, 2017." The two men sat down on a bench overlooking a playground.
"Why did you bring me here?"
"I'll show you, but first, I need you to promise that you won't interact with any of the people here."
"Right. I need to avoid paradoxes. I promise."
"Good! Finally someone who understands! Do you see that boy, over there?" The Doctor pointed out a toddler with dark skin and a mess of brown curls, swinging happily and screaming for someone to push his swing. "And that serious little girl?" A preschooler, with similar colours as the boy, but sporting two long braids and a straight fringe. She sat quietly on a bench reading, occasionally watching the swinging boy. Leonard couldn't resist a smile. The children were adorable. He felt a small pang of envy over the childhood he never had. "Now, look over there, by the fence. That's their father." A short man in his late thirties, carrying a sling with a baby.
Leonard gasped and studied the man more carefully. The wrinkles, sagging chin and the slight gut were new, but other than that, the face he watched was the same face he saw in the mirror every morning. "Is that...? I mean, really?"
"Yes," the Doctor smiled. "That is you and your family. Well, except your wife, but she's very busy at work. You married a hot-shot lawyer. She's at Harvard Law, now."
Leonard pondered his family. The boy fell off the swing and ran towards his father. As he watched his future self embrace his son and expertly calm him down, he knew this was what he always had wanted. "So this is it? I marry a lawyer, we have kids, she brings home the bacon and I cook it?"
The Doctor grimaced. "Bacon? Why would you want to eat that awful stuff?"
"Never mind, it's just an expression."
"You give up the cut-throat world of experimental physics research, but you teach physics part time at a small liberal arts college, your students give you consistently good reviews, and you recently published your first popular science book." He turned serious. "Remember, Leonard. Time can be rewritten. The future can change. This is one of your possible futures."
"How are the others?"
"Let's just say I brought you here for a reason."
"What happens to Sheldon when I move out?"
"Oh, he's doing just fine without you. In fact, when you moved out, Penny moved in. They're arguing all the time, but I think they like it."
"Are there any futures where I'm happily married to Penny?"
The Doctor looked deep in thought before he replied. "There are many time lines where you date, and some where you marry, but I don't see a single one where you two are happy together. Sorry." He took Leonard's phone, and buzzed it with his tool, whatever it was. It seemed to have many useful functions. "Wait here, and listen to me on your phone." He ran away towards the future Leonard. "Professor Hofstadter! Professor Hofstadter!"
"Hello," future Leonard said, his voice clear on Leonard's phone. "You look familiar, but I'm afraid I can't quite place you. Are you one of my students from last year?"
"I'm a science journalist." He offered his hand, and they shook hands enthusiastically. "John Smith. I loved your book! Do you have time for an impromptu interview?"
"Sure, a short one."
"What's your next project, now that you're done with your first book?"
"Right now, I'm enjoying a sabbatical with little Rani here, but next semester I'll go back to teaching. I have some ideas about writing a popular science book about lasers. Or maybe a biography about my time with professor Sheldon Cooper or about my mother."
"Yes, professor Cooper is certainly a character, and so is your mother. Tell me, do you have any advice for my younger readers, or a younger version of yourself, to use a standard interview question?"
Leonard saw his future self look straight at him. "I'd tell myself that true happiness only comes from letting jealousy and pettiness go. I need to feed Rani now. Goodbye, Doctor Smith."
A whirring, groaning sound and a gust of wind made Amy and Rory look up and smile. A big blue box appeared in Penny's living room. Leonard stumbled out, clearly very emotional, and the Doctor followed, looking smug. "Penny, forgive me." Leonard hugged her tightly. "I've been such a jerk. I want to be your friend, but I've been trying so hard to win your love."
"I'm sorry, Leonard. You are my friend."
"Well, then, let's be friends instead." They hugged again, and he left.
"What did you do?" Penny asked.
"Not much. I just showed him a happy future, and what he needs to do to get there."
"That was a very nice gift you gave him, Doctor," Amy said. Penny nodded absently, thinking about Leonard's parting words. "How about some Christmas presents for the others, to remember us by?"
"That's a splendid idea, Pond! Penny, any tips?"
"Well... You're from the future, right?"
"It's timey-wimey, but I guess you can say that."
"And you have access to future medicine?"
"Some of it, yes."
"Sheldon has a fatal allergy to bees, and Howard has a fatal allergy to peanuts. I've seen both of them near death. Can you cure them?"
The Doctor grinned. "That's easy. Any time!"
"As for Raj, do you think you can do anything about his fear of women?"
"That's trickier, but I can try. Anything we can do for you?"
"Nah, I'm good. You gave me my friend Leonard back." They all went over to the boys' apartment, where the Christmas party Penny had planned just had started.
"Merry Christmas, Raj!" Amy and Penny said as they kissed his cheeks. "The Doctor has something for you," Amy continued. He nodded in reply.
"I can help you overcome your selective mutism, but I need your consent to poke around your brain first." Raj nodded again, with more intensity. The Doctor held his hands at Raj's temples, and Raj gasped. "Oh, this is such a mess. Did you...?" A nod. "And then...?" Another. "Dresses. Your mother?"
"I never meant to...!" The first words a sober Raj spoke in the presence of women were shouted.
"Shh, of course you didn't. Do you really think...? Never mind, I can see why." He removed his hands and embraced the smaller man warmly. "Good luck. I think you'll find that there's a difference between jokes and the real thing."
Raj smacked a kiss to the Doctor's lips, and although everyone else in the room gasped, the Doctor wasn't surprised. "We'll see, okay?" Raj said. He looked around the room at the astonished stares. "Telepathy is a very intimate connection, you know." Leonard and Sheldon nodded knowingly, but Howard was still too shocked to acknowledge the explanation.
"It's true," the Doctor said. "I was snogged by Madame de Pompadour after exploring her mind once."
Rory walked up to the still shocked Howard. "Trust me, I'm a nurse." He pressed a pressure injector to Howard's wrist.
Amy closed in on the small man, turned his head up towards her and kissed him. "Happy Holidays, Howard," she said.
"Oh, God, I'm going to die! You've eaten peanuts! I can feel my throat swelling already."
"Don't worry," Rory said. "The injection was a vaccine against your allergy."
That calmed the hyperventilating Howard down a bit. "You mean, I can eat peanuts now?" Amy and Rory nodded, and Howard took a chocolate bar with peanuts from the snack bowl, scarfing it down in a single bite.
Sheldon watched them from his spot, and he must have noted the lack of an allergic reaction. "Does that really work?"
"It sure does," the Doctor said.
"Can you do me next?" he asked, holding his wrist up. Rory took care of the second injection, and Sheldon raised his eyebrow and flexed his hand. "How do you propose we test my anaphylaxis? It's not bee season in California."
"I know a bee-keeper. Doctor Cooper, would you care to join me in my time machine?"
"So you're a time traveller! I thought so. Either that, or an alien."
"Why not both?" asked an amused Amy.
Sheldon snorted. "Occam's Razor. It would be extraneous to introduce two non-mundane explanations when one will do."
"You're wrong in this case, Sheldon," Rory said. "Here, feel his pulse."
"Du-du-du-dum, du-du-du-dum… Is that a binary vascular system, or are your heart chambers misaligned?"
"I'm a Time Lord," the Doctor said. "It's a binary vascular system. Now, can we go see some bees?" Amy, Rory, Sheldon and the Doctor left the apartment.
"So, Raj," Penny said, "can you talk to me now?"
He looked down at the plate in his lap. "I'm still shy."
"Aww, sweetie, it'll get better." She hugged him, and could feel his pulse rising. After that, she exchanged sarcastic gifts with Leonard. She had just opened her experiment box when they heard the strange groaning sound again, and the time travellers returned. Sheldon and the Doctor were arguing when they entered the apartment again.
"You haven't given me a gift, you've given me an obligation."
"Yes," Amy butted in, "the obligation not to be killed by bees!"
"Sheldon, that was a gift. This," the Doctor said as he showed Sheldon something that looked like a wallet, "is an obligation."
Sheldon nodded. "Thank you. I'll do my best to never betray your confidence in me."
Penny thought she had never seen him so serious before. "What was that?"
"It was a list of my discoveries, and the order in which I must make them in order not to endanger all of time and space."
"Well," the Doctor said, "not all of time and space. Just a few billion years and one galaxy."
"Since we're talking about the galaxy in which we currently reside, it's all the same to me."
"Sheldon, I have a gift for you, too," Penny said. She gave him the napkin with Leonard Nimoy's signature, and he hugged her. Then he turned towards the Doctor, Rory and Amy, and hugged them, too.
"Oh, I don't have enough gift baskets for all of you!"
"It's a Saturnalia miracle!" Leonard said from his spot on the couch.
A/N: If you want, you can have the cut section where Sheldon, the Doctor, Amy and Rory meet John, Sherlock and the bees. I didn't include it in the main fic, since the initial request didn't ask for a Sherlock crossover.