It was winter. The TARDIS had landed in the English countryside, quite close to a village. By some luck, it was snowing, which Billy was excited about. He hoped to show Nyssa what fun things could be done in the snow, as she had never been given the chance to do so. The Doctor had checked that it was safe enough to leave the TARDIS, so the three went outside. The Doctor stood next to the TARDIS, staring at the scenery in the distance, whilst Nyssa and Billy chatted to each other. They both wrapped up warm for the weather.
“Isn’t this wonderful, Nyssa?” Billy asked.
“I agree, in terms of looks,” Nyssa replied. She finished wrapping a woollen scarf around her neck. “But it is freezing. Are you sure you have enough layers on?”
“Yes, Nyssa,” Billy answered. “I’m dressed exactly as you are, minus your cute little earmuffs.”
“Thank you very much, Billy,” Nyssa said. “I don’t know why I’m complaining. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this weather.”
The Doctor joined them, having donned a coat, a hat, a scarf and a pair of gloves.
“Well, you two. What do you think of the scenery?” he asked.
“It’s just wonderful, Doctor,” Billy said.
“I couldn’t agree more,” Nyssa added.
“That’s good,” the Doctor said. “Let’s start walking and see a bit more of the landscape.”
The trio began to trudge on through the snow, which was quite difficult at first, but they found it easier the further they went on in their walk. At one point, Nyssa picked up some snow and moulded it together to form a snowball. She showed it to the Doctor and Billy, who were both impressed.
“That’s really good, Nyssa,” Billy declared.
“Thank you, Billy,” Nyssa said, smiling.
“Are you sure it never snowed on Traken?” he asked.
“No, Billy,” she answered. “Traken’s climate didn’t accommodate for freezing cold conditions like this. Snow would have destroyed the crops.”
“I suppose that’s fair,” Billy remarked. “Do you want to make a snow angel, dear?”
Nyssa became intrigued. “A snow angel? What’s that?”
“I’ll show you,” Billy said, and he proceeded to lie down on his back in the snow and face the sky. He then moved his arms up and down to create a snow angel for Nyssa. Eventually, he got up and showed Nyssa what he’d created.
“Your turn, dear,” Billy said, smiling.
“Alright,” Nyssa replied. “Here it goes.” And then went down on the ground, lying back in the snow and facing the sky before she copied what Billy just did. When she got up, she was successful in making her own snow angel.
“That looks lovely, Nyssa,” Billy complimented her.
“I’m glad you think so, Billy dear,” Nyssa said before she gave him a peck on the cheek.
At that moment, the Doctor looked to see what his two companions made in the snow.
“What do you think of our snow angels, Doctor?” Billy asked.
“They look very good,” the Doctor answered. “Much nicer than some other angels I know of.”
The Doctor walked on. Nyssa and Billy looked each at other, confused.
“What do you suppose he meant by that?” Nyssa queried.
Billy shrugged. “I’m afraid I wouldn’t know, dear.”
The trio soon pressed on.
The snow started to get heavier, and the visibility was getting poor.
“This snow is starting to worry me,” Billy said, wrapping his arms around him.
“Same here,” Nyssa joined in, as she pulled her scarf up to just under her lower lip.
“We’ll be alright, so long as we stick together,” the Doctor told them.
The trio did their best to stay together, but the snow became so thick that it was getting impossible to do just that. Soon enough, Nyssa found that the Doctor and Billy were not by her side anymore.
“Doctor! Billy!” she called out. But there was no answer. Nyssa tried to stay calm. She then noticed a few buildings and what appeared to be a road or a path. With relief, Nyssa made a beeline for the road/path. The snow soon began to die down, which made things clearer for her. To Nyssa’s relief, she had found a road that was connected to the village that they had landed close to. She wondered if her two friends were there.
“Doctor! Billy!” she called out again. Still no answer.
Eventually, the snow ceased. Nyssa could now see that she was in centre of the village. A woman came around the corner and spotted her.
“Hiya!” the woman called out in a Yorkshire accent, as Nyssa turned to see her. “Are you okay, miss?”
“Yes, thank you,” Nyssa replied. “I just got caught in the heavy snowstorm we just had.”
The woman went over to her. “Is there anything I can do to help?” she asked.
“I’m looking for a couple of friends,” Nyssa told her. “Two males. One with blonde hair and the other with black hair.”
“I’ll help you find them.”
“Thank you,” Nyssa said, smiling.
“My name’s Philippa by the way.”
“Nice to meet you Philippa. I’m Nyssa.”
With that, the two women set off to look around the village to find Billy and the Doctor. Three minutes later, Nyssa found them near the village train station.
“That’s them,” Nyssa told Philippa.
“Oh well, that’s good,” Philippa said, delighted.
Nyssa saw Billy turn to see her. He was delighted, as he tapped the Doctor on the shoulder.
“Doctor! There’s Nyssa,” he said, as he then ran towards her.
The Doctor turned to see Nyssa and was delighted too. “Thank goodness,” he said, relieved.
Once Billy got to Nyssa, they both hugged each other.
“I’m so glad you’re alright, darling,” he said. “How did you manage to find us?”
“The snow cleared as I was getting further into the village,” Nyssa answered. “If it had gone on for another minute, I might not have found where I was before finding you two at the train station. This woman Philippa also helped me to find you two here.”
The Doctor arrived and gave Nyssa a hug too. He then turned to Philippa. “Thank you, Phillipa, for looking after our friend Nyssa,” he said.
“No problem,” Philippa said before she turned to Nyssa. “I’m glad you found your friends, dear.”
“Thank you very much for helping me, Phillipa,” Nyssa said.
Soon, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy said goodbye to Philippa. They went on their way, relieved to be with each other again after the terrible snowstorm they had just been through.
“I’d say it’s proof that snow isn’t always fun,” the Doctor remarked.
“I agree,” Billy joined in.
“So, what do you two want to do now?” the Doctor asked. He wanted the fun aspect of their excursion to return.
Nyssa looked to the train station. “We can catch a train to go somewhere,” she suggested.
“That’s a great idea, Nyssa,” said the Doctor approvingly. “I understand Leeds is the closest city from here, according to the TARDIS.”
Soon, the TARDIS trio boarded a train for Leeds, which took 25 minutes to get there.
Once they arrived in Leeds, the Doctor, Nyssa and Billy were glad to be in an urban area after spending a lot of time in the freezing countryside.
“What do you two want to do first?” the Doctor asked his friends.
“I’d like to get a bite to eat please,” Billy answered.
“And I’d like to do some shopping,” Nyssa added.
“Alright then,” the Doctor said cheerfully. “I say we get a bite to eat first and then do some shopping.”
So, they did just that. After a lunch that consisted of sandwiches and cakes, the TARDIS trio went to a shopping centre. One of the shops they went to was a clothes store. The Doctor managed to purchase another cricket jumper whilst Nyssa and Billy decided to purchase a gift for each other.
Nyssa managed to get her present for Billy gift-wrapped. “Billy will love this,” she said.
Billy meanwhile was on the other side of the clothes store, getting his present for Nyssa gift-wrapped. “Nyssa will love this,” he said.
Both paid for their respective gifts, keeping what they had bought for each other a secret. After visiting a few more shops; Nyssa, Billy and the Doctor decided to go back on the return train to the countryside village where they left the TARDIS. They hopped on the return train and soon found the TARDIS where they left it in the countryside village. Once back at the TARDIS, they went inside, feeling very relieved. The TARDIS soon dematerialised, taking off into the time vortex.
“It’s nice to be in the TARDIS again,” Billy said. “As much as I had fun out there in the snow, too much of it can be bad for you. A lovely hot shower is what I need.”
“I was thinking the same thing too, Billy,” Nyssa happily joined in.
“Good idea, Nyssa,” Billy said cheerfully. “You have a shower first if you wish.”
“That’s very kind of you, dear.”
With that, Nyssa exited the console room and headed off to have a shower.
“What are you going to do now, Doctor?” Billy asked the Time Lord.
“I think I’ll have a rest in the Zero Room, Billy,” the Doctor answered. He soon headed off there, whilst Billy stood in the console room, holding his gift for Nyssa.
“I’d better put this in my room for now and have my shower first before I give it to Nyssa,” he thought. Billy soon exited the console room.
Twenty minutes later, Nyssa sat on the sofa in the TARDIS lounge, having finished her shower. She’d changed from her winter clothes into her pyjamas. An artificial fireplace was situated in the lounge. Nyssa wished that it was a real fireplace. She looked down at the box containing her gift for Billy, which sat by her feet. Presently, Billy walked in, having just finished his shower. He carried the box that contained his gift for Nyssa.
“Hello, Nyssa,” he greeted.
Nyssa looked at Billy and smiled. “Hello, Billy. How was your shower?”
“It was nice, thank you. How are you finding the fireplace? Is it warm enough for you?”
“Yes, it’s alright. But I wish it was a real fireplace and not an artificial one.”
“Ah! Well, I suppose I’d better give you the gift I bought you from Leeds then,” Billy said cheerfully. “I think it’ll be very useful for you to keep warm.”
“Alright,” Nyssa replied happily. “Let’s see what you got me then.”
With that, Billy handed over the box to Nyssa. She gradually removed the ribbon and took off the lid of the box. To Nyssa’s delight, Billy’s gift to her was a red fleece dressing gown.
“Oh, Billy!” Nyssa exclaimed happily, as she took the dressing gown out from the box. “Thank you so much!”
“I knew you needed a new dressing gown,” Billy said.
“Oh, it’s lovely!”
“May I see you put it on?”
“Yes of course, Billy,” Nyssa giggled.
Soon, Nyssa slipped in her new dressing gown. She tied the belt around her and then wrapped her arms around herself.
“It’s so soft and cosy.”
“I knew you’d like it.”
“Oh, I love it, Billy!” Nyssa said cheerily. “Thank you so much!” She then went to Billy and kissed him. Billy felt a warmth in his heart once Nyssa kissed him.
“And you look so cute in your dressing gown.”
“That’s very sweet of you to say, Billy,” Nyssa said, as she sat back on the sofa. “This dressing gown will be just the thing for me to slip into after a shower or a bath and then for relaxing in on the sofa.”
“There’s something you’ve missed,” Billy said, as he brought back the box for Nyssa. She looked inside and saw something that made her smile with delight.
“Aww, and you’ve bought me a matching pair of slippers as well!”
Nyssa soon took out the slippers from the box and slid her feet into them.
“Thank you again, Billy,” she said cheerfully. “Now my feet won’t get cold anymore.”
Billy sat closer to Nyssa and they both cuddled each other.
“I’m glad you like the new dressing gown and pair of slippers I’ve bought you,” Billy said. “It’ll be nice to see you cosy and feeling toastie from now on.”
Nyssa giggled before she said, “Yes, Billy. And I’m not only glad that you’ve bought those two things for me.”
Billy became curious. “Oh? What else is it that’s pleased you then?”
With that, Nyssa reached down for her box that contained her gift to Billy. She handed it over to him.
“Here’s my gift to you, Billy,” she said. “I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I’ve loved your gifts to me.”
Billy became intrigued. “Hmm. Well, only one way to find out, isn’t there?” he said happily.
Soon, he untied the ribbon that held the lid over the box containing Nyssa’s gift to him. He took the lid off and became delighted by the gift he saw.
“I don’t believe it!” he exclaimed. “You got me exactly the same thing!”
Billy took the dressing gown out from the box.
“I suppose I needed a dressing gown too. I didn’t want to waste money on one for myself, so I figured I’d buy you one instead.”
“That’s very sweet and thoughtful of you, Billy.”
Billy examined the dressing gown. “This dressing gown’s also made of fleece material,” he said. “And it’s blue!”
“Yes! I know blue is your favourite colour, dear.”
Soon, Billy stood up and slipped into his new dressing gown. There were also a pair of slippers in the box. He took those out and slipped into them too.
“Oh, they’re lovely,” Billy said. “Both the dressing gown and the slippers. “Thank you so much, Nyssa dear.”
“My pleasure,” Nyssa acknowledged, as she pulled Billy back on the sofa for another kiss and a cuddle. The artificial fire still kept going.
“I suppose it doesn’t matter that the fire is artificial,” Nyssa said. “Not now we have our dressing gowns to keep us warm instead.”
“And we can always keep each other extra warm, setting next to each other with our dressing gowns on,” Billy teased.
Nyssa giggled as she and Billy watched the artificial fire for a little while longer.
“Oh, I’ve just realised something, Billy,” Nyssa eventually said.
“What is it, dear?” Billy asked.
“Your dressing gown has a hood on it.”
Billy checked his dressing gown to find the hood. “So, it has,” he said. Then he realised. “I’m sorry, Nyssa. I didn’t buy you a dressing gown with a hood on it.”
“That’s alright,” Nyssa reassured him. “I don’t worry too much about keeping my head warm. And I can always use a towel when I need to dry my hair.”
“Well, that’s alright then,” Billy said, pleased. He then pulled the hood of his dressing gown over his head to show Nyssa. “How do I look?” he asked.
“You look cuter with the hood over your head,” Nyssa said happily.
At that moment, the Doctor entered, carrying a tray with two mugs on it.
“Doctor! Hello,” Nyssa greeted.
“Hello, you two,” the Doctor answered. “Hope you don’t mind me interrupting.”
Billy turned to face the Doctor, as he took the hood of his dressing gown off. “What have you got there, Doctor?” he asked, intrigued.
“I’ve brought you both mugs of hot chocolate,” the Time Lord said. “And I see you’ve both wrapped yourselves up warm already.”
“We certainly have,” Billy said cheerily.
“Billy and I bought each other dressing gowns and pairs of slippers from our shopping visit in Leeds,” Nyssa explained. “We didn’t know we’d got each other the same present, which makes the gift-giving all the more special, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, it does,” the Doctor agreed, as he placed the tray of hot chocolate mugs on the table next to Nyssa and Billy. “I’m pleased you both enjoyed the exchanges of your gift-giving.”
Billy then realised. “Sorry, Doctor. We should have bought you a gift when we were in Leeds.”
“No need to worry, Billy,” the Doctor said reassuringly. “Besides, I have a dressing gown of my own in the TARDIS wardrobe. It’s almost similar to the one the Cranleighs gave me when we visited Cranleigh Hall in the 1920s.” He then indicated the tray and said, “Help yourselves to your mugs of hot chocolate. Don’t let them go cold.”
With that, Nyssa and Billy took the mugs of hot chocolate from the tray to enjoy.
“Thank you very much for this, Doctor,” Nyssa said graciously.
“Mm,” Billy said, as he smelled the hot chocolate from his mug. “It smells delicious. I’m looking forward to enjoying my hot chocolate. Thank you, Doctor.”
“Not at all,” the Doctor said, satisfied. “Well, I’ll leave you both to have some time to yourselves. Goodnight.”
“Goodnight, Doctor,” Nyssa and Billy said in unison.
At that, the Doctor exited the lounge. Both Nyssa and Billy took sips of their hot chocolate before placing them back on the tray on the table next to them.
“This is lovely,” Nyssa said, smiling.
“The hot chocolate or the general atmosphere?” Billy teased.
“I couldn’t agree with you more, dear. Mugs of hot chocolate to drink, slippers on our feet, and both of us wearing dressing gowns to keep ourselves warm. What could be better?”
Both giggled, as they continued to enjoy the rest of their time together in the TARDIS with the artificial fireplace still going.
Nyssa of Traken created by Johnny Byrne
Billy Walker created by Tim Bradley