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The Snowman

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It was a very cold winter, so cold that Ian and Barbara didn’t want to venture outside and leave the warmth of their home. The snow had settled that year and a blizzard was raging. Barbara was wrapped in a blanket as she sat on the sofa, stared at the fire, and wondered where the Doctor could be in the big wide universe. They had left him two years ago and everything was back to normal but sometimes she wondered about the life she left behind.

“Hot chocolate,” Ian said, holding two mugs in his hands. “I put extra cream, just for you.”

He placed the drinks onto the table and then climbed under the blanket. He shivered. “Brrrr, it’s freezing in that kitchen. Got flashbacks to Marinus.”

“Don’t remind me. Of all the places we went to, those snowy mountains were not one of the highlights.”

“Are you alright Barbara, you seem sad lately?”

“It’s nothing really. Winter blues I suppose.”

“You never used to suffer from winter blues. At Coal Hill, it was me that used to complain. You said you liked that it wasn’t hot.” He shuffled up closer to her and rested his head on her shoulder. “You would tell me if something was wrong, wouldn’t you?”

“Oh, it’s silly.”

“Silly it may be but it’s upsetting you all the same. Come on, tell your handsome understanding husband what’s troubling you?”

“Oh Ian! Alright. I miss the Doctor.”

“You’re right, that is silly.”

“Ian!” She slapped him on the arm. “You miss him too, don’t deny it.”

“Objection your honour!”

“Don’t pretend. And speaking of your honour, it was on the trip to Marinus that he defended you in court for murder, remember?”

“Don’t remind me. I was nearly toast. Doctor saved me. Well, you saved me.”

“The point is, we went through so much together. Saw each other every day. I miss him.”

“And now for the last two years it’s just been me?”

Barbara smiled and snuggled up next to him. “It’s not a complaint, I assure you, but it’d be lovely to know he was alright out there, that someone was taking care of him and Vicki.”

Ian sipped his drink. “I miss them too. I’m sorry it’s upsetting you so much. Wish there was something I could do.”

When Barbara came downstairs after a warm bath, the house was empty.

“Ian?” she called out as she searched the downstairs rooms. Noticing his coat was missing from the peg, she put on her own and went to the garden where she could see him in the distance through the snowfall.

“Ian? It’s freezing, come back inside.”

“No, you come here, Barbara. Wrap up warm and come here.”

Grabbing her hat and scarf, she made her way slowly, following Ian’s footprints in the snow to the other end of the garden where he stood proudly building a snowman.

“Playtime is it?”

“I made him for you,” he replied as he placed a black astrakhan hat on the snowman’s head.

Barbara inspected the snowman and chuckled, noticing it had a monocle placed over the black coal eye as well as a walking stick resting on its side. It even had a cloak draped over it.

“Meet Doctor snowman. Our Doctor may be somewhere in the stars but his representative, Doctor snowman, is here to say hello.”

Laughing, Barbara patted the snowman on the head. “Pleased to see you again, Doctor.”

“Ah, no, you’ve never met. He’s just the representative.”

“He looks strangely like him.” She suddenly burst into tears.

“Barbara!” Ian took her in his arms until she was crying on his shoulder. “What on earth’s the matter, I thought it’d cheer you up?”

“It has. He’s wonderful. I’m just emotional.”

“This snowman has all the benefits. It looks like the Doctor, looks as jolly as the Doctor; is as cold as the Doctor but doesn’t talk.”

“I know, he’s wonderful. But there’s something else wonderful that I’ve been meaning to tell you.”

“What’s that?”

“There’s going to be a baby.”

“A snowman baby? Barbara, they’re notoriously hard to sculpt.”

“Oh Ian, do be quiet. I mean, I’m going to have a baby.”

Ian’s eyes widened. “You what?” He smirked and narrowed his eyes. “I see. Tell me who’s the father, right now, ‘fess up. It’s the snowman isn’t it? I turned my back for one moment!”

“Ian, that’s the Doctor snowman, please don’t give me nightmares.”

“You’re really going to have a baby?”

“Yes, Ian, a real one. It won’t be made of snow and ice; it’ll be flesh and blood. It’ll be ours.”

Ian suddenly threw his arms in the air and shouted whoopee. “I’m going to be a daddy!”

He started to dance around her and then danced around the snowman, cheering and hollering with happiness. Barbara laughed as he jumped up and down on the spot.

“Hold on, should you be outside, Barbara?”

“I think I’ll be alright.”

“All the same, I’d rather keep you warm.” He placed his arms around her and led her back inside. As they reached the door to the house, they turned and looked back at the snowman.

“Hope you get the news where you are, Doctor,” Barbara said but as she looked at the snowman, its twig arms seemed to have moved from their position and now seemed to be in the pose of clutching at its own snow lapels. Barbara did a double-take.

“Can’t be.”