“Hold your horses, Jamie. I'm coming!” Zoe exclaimed.
The Doctor could see her pulling a warm coat on over her jumpsuit and hastily putting on a pair of gloves as she entered the console room. According to the view screens, they'd landed on a planet that was currently in the middle of its winter season. There was nothing but snow as far as the eye could see. Although it looked pretty, there was no doubt it was quite cold. Thus, the Doctor was surprised when Jamie suddenly declared he wanted to go out and have a look around.
“Come on, Zoe,” Jamie scolded her, tapping his foot impatiently. “Who knows how long the Doctor wants tae stay here. After we first met the Ice Warriors …”
He trailed off, apparently realizing the adventure in question was before Zoe's time and noticing the confused look on her face.
“Never mind,” he muttered, looking away in embarrassment.
The Doctor chuckled to himself, watching his young companions heading for the doors excitedly. He was about to push the button to open them when he suddenly caught sight of what Jamie was wearing.
“Oh, Jamie, don't go out there without putting on a snow suit. Remember how cold you were when we first met the Yetis?”
The young Scot briefly looked down at his clothes: the same kilt, sporran, boots, shirt, and fur-lined vest he'd been wearing all along. He gave a nonchalant shrug as he looked back up at the Doctor.
“We won't be long; just a wee while. Come on, Doctor,” he pleaded, giving the Doctor his best sad, puppy-eyed stare.
The Time Lord quickly rolled his eyes and sighed, opening the TARDIS doors for them. Shaking his head, he watched as Jamie grabbed Zoe's hand and ran outside, nearly dragging her behind him. He hoped they wouldn't run into any avalanches. Luckily the scans he performed showed their surroundings to be pretty stable.
Pulling her warm coat around her tightly, Zoe shivered. It was quite cold out here. She guessed it had to be at least several degrees below the freezing point. She shifted her gaze to Jamie and was surprised he didn't seem to be cold at all, especially given the fact that his legs were bare. Well, perhaps he was and was just hiding it under that tough male bravado. She chuckled inwardly.
Turning ahead once more, she decided to stop focusing on how cold it was and turn her attention to the beautiful scenery in front of her. Who could tell what the landscape of this planet really looked like with all the snow covering it? It looked like a huge, white, fluffy blanket that sparkled when the light hit it right. Snow was also falling lightly from the sky. She reached a gloved hand out to catch some of the snowflakes and studied them closely. They were so beautiful; so intricately formed in an array of patterns, none of which were alike —
A mound of tightly-packed snow hit her on the left shoulder, rudely interrupting her train of thought. Wiping it away, she glared in the direction it'd come from and found Jamie standing there, giving her a lopsided — and obviously satisfied — smirk.
Her mind reeled with insults but all she could get out was: “Ugh!! Really, Jamie?! Was that really necessary?!”
Obviously that was a rhetorical question, given by the expression on Jamie's face. “Oh, aye. It was, lass.”
Fixing him with another glare, she bent and hastily grabbed a handful of snow, lobbing it in his direction. Jamie was quick however and managed to duck out of the way.
“Ye can't do better than that?” he taunted.
Zoe growled in frustration. Of course that messy, loosely-formed bit of snow wasn't going to hit its intended target. What she needed was the perfect combination of weight and shape to inflict the most damage. Her lips lifted in an evil grin at the thought.
Let's see: a perfect sphere and an amount packed so tightly that it would prove a direct target, one that would sting upon impact. The circumference would have to be about ….
“Aaaggghh!!!” she cried as she felt a cold, wet lump against her skin, traveling down her back. She turned again to find Jamie staring at her with a mischievous grin.
He'd dumped snow down her back! And he was clearly enjoying it, nearly doubled over laughing. That Highlander brat.
“You think that's funny??”
Jamie was nearly in hysterics now. “Oh! Ye should've seen yer face when that snow hit ye,” he managed to get out before dissolving back into hysterical laughter.
Zoe fixed him with a murderous glare and stepped closer to him, aiming to give him a good shove. Jamie, still pointing and laughing, kept backing away to avoid her.
Unfortunately he didn't catch the large snow drift right behind him and ended up falling backwards into it.
“Serves you right.” Zoe smirked in satisfaction watching him fall and cry out in surprise.
Jamie suddenly seemed to be in a lot of distress. His eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. Had he hurt himself badly? Were there sharp, jagged rocks beneath that drift?
A realization suddenly dawned on her. He was wearing his kilt and that snow looked as if it had reached pretty far down his…..
The thought made another smirk twitch at her lips and she then started giggling.
Yep. The look on Jamie's face had confirmed it, especially the way his eyes traveled down to his crotch. Oh, boy. He definitely should have worn something more weather-appropriate. Her giggles turned into all-out laughter.
“Ach, woman. Quit laughin' at me. My bollocks are frozen solid now,” Jamie uttered tightly, looking appropriately embarrassed.
Zoe tried to stop laughing, but the whole notion was just so funny. He'd certainly received his comeuppance for attacking her with snowballs. 'Snow balls'…. Now that was a good one, given the present situation. She snorted and was back to laughing uncontrollably. Maybe she was being a little mean. Maybe.
She managed to stop laughing and gazed back down at Jamie. His blush was gone but his lips almost appeared to be turning blue. He was staring at her, wide-eyed, looking as if he was trying to speak but couldn't do so.
“Jamie? You alright?”
Still wide-eyed, Jamie managed to shake his head.
Zoe immediately forgot her amusement and reached over to help him out of the snow drift. She looked at him worriedly, catching his slight wince as she pulled him out. He looked as if he were numb and could barely walk.
“Here, hold onto me and we'll go back to the TARDIS.” She caught his little nod as he reached over and put an arm around her, letting her support him as she guided him in the direction back toward the TARDIS. Luckily they didn't have far to go.
The Doctor wasn't sure how long he'd been mired in repair work of the TARDIS console when he heard the doors click open. Hm. That was rather quick.
He watched his young companions enter and noticed Zoe appearing somewhat chagrined. Jamie was barely walking and holding onto her for support. From the look on his face, the boy seemed to be in a lot of distress.
Zoe turned to her fellow companion. “Jamie fell into a snow drift.”
“Oh, dear. I told you not to go out there without proper clothing, Jamie.”
“I can't feel my …” Jamie started to whine and then abruptly stopped. The Doctor could see his cheeks getting flushed. “... Well ...” He inclined his head toward his crotch area. “Y'know... “
The Doctor sighed and shook his head. “It's snow wonder.”
Jamie rolled his eyes and scowled at the Doctor. “Can't ye save the puns for later, Doctor? Much later? I need to warm up and make sure I haven't … lost anything.”
Zoe snickered briefly and then appeared contrite.
“Of course. On that second point, let's have a look.” He motioned for Jamie to sit down and watched Zoe instinctively turn her head away. He lifted up Jamie's kilt to survey the damage. “Oh, my word!”
Jamie's eyes widened in fear. “Eh??!”
“Oh, no, no. Everything appears fine. No frostbite.”
Jamie released the breath he seemed to be holding.
“But it was a close call. Let's get you warmed up as quickly as possible. Take a hot bath and I'll make you some tea.”
Jamie blushed furiously. “Thank ye, Doctor,” he muttered before Zoe joined him and helped him walk in the direction towards the bathroom.
Replacing his tools in their box, the Doctor sighed and shook his head before setting off after them.
Jamie sighed in relief as he pulled on his protective clothing. After having a hot bath and some tea, he definitely felt much better and was relieved he didn't sustain any permanent damage to certain … areas of his anatomy. He had certainly learned a lesson about going out in the snow without proper clothing.
He walked determinedly towards the console room, about to back outside again. He really wanted to go back out there before the sun went down. Of course, the Doctor seemed reluctant to let him go back out, but Jamie had the art of wearing him down to an exact science and the Time Lord gave in, making Jamie promise he'd wear a snow suit over his kilt.
As he entered the room, he noticed Zoe pulling her coat back on and eyeing him worriedly. “Will ye stop, Zoe? I'm alright. I promise.” He pointed to the snow suit that now covered his usual clothing.
She seemed to relax and nodded. The Doctor was again tinkering with something in the console and seemed as if he didn't want anything to do with this.
“I can't believe you're both so eager to go back out there already,” he muttered distractedly.
“'Already'? Doctor, it's been hours. It will be dark soon,” Zoe protested.
The Doctor didn't even bother to look up. “Mm. Yes, well, I hope we learned a little lesson.”
Knowing that bit was directed at him, Jamie rolled his eyes and felt his face burning. “Aye, Doctor. I'm all kitted up properly, just as ye suggested.”
The Doctor finally looked up and gave him a quick look of appraisal. “Good. Now don't go sticking your tongue to any hard, metal surfaces if you can help it.”
Jamie shared a look with Zoe and sarcastically uttered a sound of disbelief. “What makes ye think we'd ever go an' do a thing like that?”
The Doctor shot a very pointed look in his direction as he reached for the button to open the TARDIS doors.
“Don' answer that.”
Zoe uttered a brief laugh. “We won't be long, Doctor.”
Jamie grumbled in agreement as he followed her outside.
Zoe gazed at their surroundings as they walked away from the TARDIS and down a winding lane blanketed with snow. With the sun going down, the snow was bathed in a lovely golden glow that made it sparkle.
“Jamie, look. Isn't this beautiful?” she said, pointing to the large, snow-flocked pines.
“Aye. I'm glad we were able to get back out here,” he said softly.
She turned and saw him gazing appreciatively at the scenery. She smiled. He looked like he was feeling a lot better and she was glad he was now dressed more appropriately. They walked a bit further down the path and her breath hitched upon taking in the scene that unfolded before them.
Just beyond their reach there a meandering stream that had been iced over. The land sloped downward and the stream fed into a large lake. The color of the icy surface transitioned from slate at the shoreline to purple and then to a lovely pink, reflecting the color of the sky and the warm glow cast by the setting sun. There was also what appeared to be a mountain range off in the distance on the other side of the lake. The scene was so ethereal, so hauntingly beautiful. Zoe sighed and thought what a wonderful site to greet inhabitants of this planet each evening, if there were any.
“Oh, Jamie, isn't this just stunn--”
Zoe cried out in surprise as she was nearly knocked off her feet and felt something heavy and wet hit her on the back. She felt behind her and growled, finding the remnants of another snowball.
She wheeled around to find Jamie with his hands behind his back, trying to appear innocent but failing miserably due to the barely concealed grin on his face.
“Didn't learn your lesson, did you?!” she growled. She lunged forward and knocked him into a mound of snow. And she didn't feel the least bit guilty about it.
“Ach!” he cried as he fell onto his back. “Ye don't play fair, lass.”
“Oh, and I suppose you do?!” Before he could answer, she bent down and hastily constructed a good sized snowball. “Here, have a snowball sandwich!” she shouted as she hit him squarely in the face. From the looks of it, she'd gotten most of it in his mouth.
Jamie sputtered in shock and then set to work on spitting the snow out, wiping the rest off his face and pushing his damp hair from his eyes. He was also struggling to get up, thanks to his snow suit, and looked almost like a turtle stuck on its back. He was quite a sight to behold and Zoe couldn't stop the giggles that quickly overtook her. If only she'd had some sort of camera right now. She'd snap a photo before Jamie could protest and she'd rub it right in his face whenever he'd try to tease her about anything. Boy, would that be satisfying.
She was so beside herself with laughter she barely felt the tug on her arm. She quickly turned to find Jamie quirking an eyebrow at her as he grabbed her arm harder and pulled her down into the snow with him.
“Agggh!” she cried out in surprise as she landed in the soft snow with a thud. The nerve of that boy! She'd really been enjoying herself and now she was down here in the cold, wet snow with him. His amused laughter only made it worse. “Why, you!”
“Who's laughing now? Eh?” he snickered. Calming down a bit, he assumed a thoughtful expression. “What was that thing ye once told me? How does it go....? 'Turnabout is fair play,' is it?” He waggled his eyebrows at her, which only made her glare at him even harder.
She sat up and had just gotten to her feet when her foot hit a slick spot of ice. Her breath hitched as she was up in the air for one brief moment and then was back down into the mound of snow, falling right on her backside. “Oof!!”
She briefly shut her eyes in frustration and then and reached down to make sure she wasn't hurt. Luckily she was fine, and was more surprised than anything else. Truth be told, it was actually kind of funny. The whole story beginning with their first sojourn in this snowy wonderland was pretty funny. She snorted and then started laughing again. Sitting up on her elbows, she turned and expected Jamie to be laughing as well. Instead he was gazing at her in what appeared to be concern. She stopped laughing and frowned slightly.
“Ye alright, Zoe?” he asked gently.
“What? Oh, yes, I'm fine. Thank you, Jamie.”
Jamie nodded and looked at her expectantly.
“I just find this whole thing quite funny. I thought we were coming out here to appreciate the wonders of nature and you turned it into a snowball fight. And now it seems the snow claimed has us both.” She felt a warmth rise up in her cheeks.
Jamie gave her a lopsided grin that seemed awkward in nature. “I suppose it is funny … with the exception of my nearly frozen privates.”
Zoe laughed sympathetically as Jamie lowered his gaze in the appropriate direction and blushed. Smiling, she gave him a pat on the shoulder. “Truce?”
He looked back up at her with a hint of a smile and nodded. “Aye. Truce.”
Zoe's smile widened and she got to her feet. Turning back to Jamie, she found him still struggling to get up.
“Ach, would ye mind giving me a hand?” he asked, wincing in frustration.
Without saying a word, Zoe bent down, offered her hand to him and helped him stand up.
She nodded. “It's almost dark. Why don't we start heading back?”
Agreeing, Jamie held his hand out and she took it as they began their walk back to the TARDIS. She shot him an appreciative look which he didn't seem to notice, but she didn't care. She had to thank him for starting the snowball fight in the first place. She knew she could be pretty cold and calculating and, yes, a bit uptight. She never had much of an opportunity to loosen up before she joined The Doctor and Jamie. In the eight months or so she'd been with them, she realized what she'd been missing. It was important to loosen up and have fun every once in a while, and, more importantly, it felt good.
“So, have you been in a lot of these snowball fights?” she asked him.
Jamie turned and regarded her with a slight look of surprise and then gave a little shrug. “Aye. When I was a wee bairn, my brothers and cousins and I would have battles in the snow. We'd build our own forts and defend them, the proud Highlanders we were. We'd spend hours outside before my Mum would call us in to warm up by the fire.” His expression became wistful.
“I reckoned as much,” Zoe replied, giving him an affectionate smile.
“What aboot you?”
She sighed sadly. “No, I really never spent much time in the snow. If I did, I don't remember it. It had to have been when I was only a few years old, before my life on the Wheel began.”
Jamie gazed at her with a sad expression and it touched her to see that he cared.
“I mostly read vague references to it or heard stories and I often wondered what it was like. It was good to experience it, so, thank you.”
Her admission and thanks were clearly unexpected, judging from Jamie's expression. His look of surprise melted and he grew a smile. “Aye. My pleasure.” His smile turned a bit mischievous in nature as he added, “'Course, if ye'd like to experience it again, we could --”
Rolling her eyes, she swatted him. “No, thank you, I've had enough for one day! Besides, it's nearly dark and I don't see how we'd --”
She and Jamie stopped in their tracks as she felt a huge snowball — or part of one — hit her lower back. Turning to Jamie, she saw he'd gotten the brunt of it. Wheeling around, she came face to face with the Doctor. He had a grin on his face a mile wide and was rubbing his mitten-clad hands together.
“What's he doing out here?” Jamie asked, looking at Zoe in bewilderment. She was shocked to see him, thinking he had no interest whatsoever in being out in the snow and mired in repairs to the TARDIS console.
“Ah, it's always the quiet ones!” the Doctor exclaimed, looking very much like a dastardly villain in one of those old cartoons from the mid twentieth century that Zoe had read about.
“Doctor!!” she cried indignantly, trying to wipe some of the snow off her back.
“What can I say? I'm up to 'snow good!'” the Time Lord replied, grinning and waggling his eyebrows at them.
Zoe rolled her eyes and shifted her gaze to Jamie, whose expression matched hers before he fixed the Doctor with a scowl. He turned to her and nodded with an evil grin before bending to pick up a large handful of snow. Picking up on his thought process, she grinned and nodded back. They gingerly approached the Doctor who had turned his back to them and was mired in laughter. Jamie nodded to Zoe, who grabbed hold of the waistband of the Doctor's trousers and pulled them back, allowing Jamie to dump his payload of snow down them.
“YAH!!” the Doctor shrieked, jumping a good ten feet in the air. He turned and regarded them in shock, his eyes bugging out.
“Start runnin', Doctor!” Jamie warned before bending down and quickly sculpting some snowballs. Zoe joined him and they started advancing on him.
“Well, I never!” the Doctor yelled as he half ran, half hopped back to the TARDIS in obvious discomfort. “Have pity on a poor little old man, won't you?!”
“Ye should've thought of that before ye threw that snowball, eh?!”
“Yes, he can dish it out but he certainly can't take it!” Zoe added. Laughing, she and Jamie chased after the Doctor, lobbing snowballs at him and ignoring his pleas to stop as he hurried to reach the TARDIS doors. Yes, things hadn't turned out so badly after all. Jamie had learned to wear more weather-appropriate clothing. She had learned to loosen up and have more fun.
And, hopefully, the Doctor had learned not to mix stealth snowballs and awful puns.
Then again, probably not …