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Proximity Alarm

Chapter Text

Yaz awoke to a vaguely familiar rhythm.

“Doctor?” Sitting up completely, she found the sheets next to her empty and cold. In spite of her best efforts, she’d never found her old room again. But the Time Lord was more than willing to share. After all, the woman only slept once every three days on average. Yaz guessed that tonight wasn’t one of those nights.

The music was getting louder, accompanied by an operatic voice singing in French. Throwing her covers back, Yaz pulled on her pink sweater and padded out of the room. Her bare feet took her right into the console room.

The music swelled into a chorus, reverberating off of the columns. Yaz listened for a moment, the origin of the song slowly coming back to her. “Right! Carmen.” But why was it playing in here?

“Doctor?” She called gently, raising her voice slightly as the music swelled again.

Slight moment to her right drew her attention and Yaz turned.

The Doctor was slouched on one of the sets of stairs surrounding the control column, her jacket discarded and crumpled beside her. An electric guitar was swaddled in her arms, her face leaning against the instrument’s neck. At first, Yaz thought she was asleep but the Time Lord quickly unfolded herself, sitting up straighter.

“Yaz!” She fumbled with something in her jacket, “Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you…I thought…I thought it was quiet enough…” pulling out her sonic, she pointed it at the console. The chorus of voices faded to nothing.

“Doctor,” Yaz began, stepping closer. “Are you alright? What are you doing?”

“Nothing, just…thinking back.” The woman tried to smile, but it seemed forced. “I played the triangle in this recording, did I ever tell you lot that?” As she spoke, Yaz realized there were tears on the woman’s face.

“Doctor!” She crouched in front of the woman, now concerned. “What is it? What’s wrong?” The Time Lord never cried.

“Nuthin’s wrong.” The Doctor insisted, smiling that fake smile again. She pulled the guitar into position, holding it lefty. “Did I ever tell you I used to play this? Back when I was a man?” Strumming, she ducked her face to avoid Yaz’s gaze.

Yaz sat back on her heels, listening as the Doctor’s meaningless strumming evolved into something slow and sweet, full of hope and curiosity. She listened for a long time, feeling her own eyes prick with sympathetic tears. “Who was she?” She finally asked as the Doctor paused in her playing. Yaz didn’t know how she knew it was another woman. But she just had a feeling.

A tiny smile split the Doctor’s sadness. “Someone else…who traveled with me…” She closed her eyes and leaned her head back on the column. Her hand slipped from the guitar. “I lost her.” There was more behind those words, something deep and painful that Yaz recognized but couldn’t quite understand.

Reaching out, Yaz took the Doctor’s hand. “You don’t have to tell me…” Yaz assured her, trying to tamp down the prickle of jealousy she felt. Of course the Doctor would have had people before them. She was thousands of years old.

The Doctor opened her eyes, her gaze thankful and a bit of her old charm returning. “I will…just not tonight.”

Yaz smiled. Shifting herself, she sat down next to the Doctor and gently removed the guitar from her grip. “Never did learn how to play.” She commented, hefting the instrument. Nudging the Doctor lightly, she smiled. “Could you show me?”

The woman nodded. “Anytime.” She leaned closer to Yaz, reaching for her hand to place it correctly on the guitar.

 

With a little love, and some tenderness

We'll walk upon the water, we'll rise above the mess

With a little peace, and some harmony

We'll take the world together, we'll take 'em by the hand

 

Both of them looked around in confusion as the soft music swirled around them. The Doctor’s hand fell away from Yaz’s.

“What is that?” Yaz asked, placing the guitar down.

The Doctor seemed confused. “You hear it too?” She stood up, Yaz following her over to the console. “TARDIS must’ve put my music on shuffle…” She pressed a button on the console but the volume of the music only increased.

 


'Cause I've got a hand for you

'Cause I wanna run with you

 

Yaz was starting to get a little uncomfortable. “Are you doing this?” She shouted, as the second verse began.

The Doctor gave her a panicked look. “No. I swear!” The Time Lord looked around, as if she expected a band to be hiding behind one of the columns. “Only time I saw Hootie and the Blowfish was their Hologram Tour in 2034…”

The music swelled as she pulled out her sonic.

 


(Hold my hand) Want you to hold my hand

(Hold my hand) I'll take you to a place where you can be

(Hold my hand) Anything you wanna be because

I wanna love you the best that... the best that I can

 

“Come on…” The Doctor moaned, sounding desperate. “Work with me girl…” She pointed the sonic at the console but nothing happened.

Against her will, Yaz’s eyes dropped to the Doctor’s empty hand.

 


(Hold my hand) Want you to hold my hand

(Hold my hand) I'll take you to a place where you can be

(Hold my hand) Anything you wanna be because

I wanna love you the best that... the best that I can

 

Just as the song came to an end, the Doctor finally managed to flip the right switch and a deafening silence filled the TARDIS as the music cut out.

“Sorry about that…” The Doctor apologized, panting. She tossed her sonic down on the dash and rubbed the back of her head. “I almost never play music from her…she must’ve gotten some update I haven’t learned all the ins and outs of yet…”

Yaz forced a laugh. “It’s fine…you have good taste in music.”

The Doctor gave her a lopsided grin. “I’d hope so. I’ve had thousands of years to perfect it.”

Yaz actually laughed at that, glad that the awkwardness from the unexpected song had faded somewhat.

“Well, I’ve annoyed you long enough.” Yaz said, stifling a yawn. “Good night Doctor.”

Her face softening, the Time Lord learned forward. Yaz panicked momentarily, thinking the woman was going to peck her on the cheek.

“You never annoy me Yasmin Khan.” The Doctor whispered, her face very close. Yaz’s hand twitched forward.

 


(Hold my hand) Want you to hold my hand…

 

They both jumped as the music unexpectedly started again.

“I’ll deal with it!” The Doctor called to Yaz over the din. “Good night!” She bustled off to the other side of the console, already poking at the controls.

Nodding, Yaz crossed the console room and descended back into the hallway. The further she got from the Doctor, the softer the music got.

Yaz rubbed her hands together, the song lyrics pleasantly ringing in her head. She crawled back into bed, unexpectedly lamenting that her hands were so cold and so empty.

Chapter Text


I don't mind you comin' here

And wastin' all my time

'Cause when you're standin', oh so near

I kinda lose my mind

“Yaz, hand me that cyclotron please?”

Shaking herself out of her haze, Yaz fumbled for the small part and passed it to the Doctor. The woman smiled as their hands brushed. “Thanks.”

Yaz could only nod in response, her entire side pressed against woman. They were crammed very close together under the console; the Doctor fiddling with enough wires to clog a sewage pipe and Yaz handing her various implements from a toolbox on her right. The Time Lord had insisted that she needed Yaz’s hands to help her disassemble the TARDIS’ music circuit and (hopefully) fix the problem of random music playing. This time, it had started when they’d passed each other by accident in the doorway that morning, the Doctor’s hands ghosting past the younger woman’s waist as they almost collided.

Now, the song had been playing on repeat for hours.

The Doctor groaned as the part she was holding slid into place and the music continued to play.

“It’s been two days…how is this still a problem?”

Yaz couldn’t answer. She really couldn’t. Ever since that almost-touch this morning, her brain seemed to be on standby. It had just been a reflex, a motion to catch her in case they had collided and fallen…nothing to it.

She took a deep breath, but that too was a mistake.

Her eyes darted to the Time Lord but she was busy with the cyclotron. Yaz would be lying if she said being this close to the Doctor wasn’t affecting her. How did the woman manage to smell of jasmine, honey, and metal simultaneously? Did she sweat sugar?

Violently shaking her head, Yaz distracted herself by digging preemptively in the tool box for a hammer. She was definitely not listening to those lyrics…


It's not the perfume that you wear

It's not the ribbons in your hair

And I don't mind you comin' here

And wastin' all my time

Yaz sighed. She was also definitely not admiring how the Doctor couldn’t help but bounce along to the beat and mouth the words, even lying on the ground, working intently with both her hands.

The Time Lord had stripped her jacket off again and rolled up her shirt sleeves. The suspenders rested against her shoulders, oh-so-close and oh-so-snap-able.

But Yaz wasn’t going to touch them. No ma’am.


I don't mind you hangin' out

And talkin' in your sleep

It doesn't matter where you've been

As long as it was deep, yeah

“Can you grab the sonic?” The Doctor asked, holding the mess of wires up with both hands.

Scrambling out of thoughts of the Doctor talking in her sleep, Yaz fumbled in the box but came up empty.

“It’s not in the box?”

The woman shook her head. “Nope, it’s in my pocket.”

Yaz made to wriggle out from under the console but a gentle kick from the Doctor stopped her. “Not my coat…” She grinned apologetically. “My…pants pocket.”

Yaz froze. Her eyes dropped to the alien’s waist and those ridiculous navy pants.

“…I thought those didn’t have pockets…” She hated the way her voice shook.

The Doctor shrugged, “I added them. I needed more!” She insisted when Yaz gave her an exasperated look. “Can never have too many pockets!”


You always knew to wear it well and

You look so fancy I can tell

I don't mind you hangin' out

And talkin' in your sleep

Her face coloring, Yaz slid her hand into the Doctor’s pocket. She had barely registered the warmth of the alien’s thigh when her hand encountered the sonic. She withdrew it quickly, unable to stop her fingers from brushing ever so slightly against the Doctor’s thigh.

She thought she heard a sharp intake of breath from the woman but it was difficult to say with the musical chorus blaring around them.

“Now, point it just there.” The Doctor indicated a spot on the mess of wires with her eyes. Her breath ragged, Yaz pointed the sonic and turned it on.


I guess, you're just what I needed

I needed someone to feed

I guess, you're just what I needed

I needed someone to bleed

There was a fizz and a mighty pop and silence reigned again in the console room.

“Ha!” The Doctor shouted, springing up triumphantly and knocking her head against the control panel. “Oww.”

“You alright?” Yaz sat up carefully, her hands drifting towards the Doctor reflexively.

The woman winced, touching her crown. “Oh me, I’m fine…happens more often than not.”

“Let me have a look.” Yaz insisted, parting the Doctor’s hair to get a look at her scalp. “Cant have your head out of sorts…you’re our driver.” She twined some of the silky strands around her finger, hating herself for giving in to the temptation but deeply thrilled at the opportunity.

The Doctor smiled gratefully at her.

Both of them flinched as music flooded around them again.


Desperate for changing, starving for truth

I'm closer to where I started, I'm chasing after you

“Urrhhhh” The Doctor groaned, standing up. “No chance of a simple fix, huh old girl?” She gave the console a pat. “At least it’s a different song this time…”

As Yaz made to rise, a hand entered her vision. She looked up into the Doctor’s eyes, the woman offering her a hand up.

Her face burning, she took it. But as the next verse of the song faded in, she froze in horror.


I'm falling even more in love with you

Letting go of all I've held onto

I'm standing here until you make me move

I'm hanging by a moment here with you

Forgetting all I'm lacking

Completely incomplete

I'll take your invitation

You take all of me now

As soon as she was firmly on her feet she pulled her hand from the Doctor’s. Was the ship reading her mind?

The Doctor was nodding along with the beat again but she grimaced as Yaz took a step away from her.

“Sorry…” She apologized, tucking her hands in her pants pockets. “I’ll keep working on it.”

“Don’t worry about it…” Yaz assured her, ducking her burning face on the pretense of brushing off her pants. “At least they’re nice songs.”

The Time Lord chuckled. “Yeah…” She softly began to sing along.


I'm falling even more in love with you

Letting go of all I've held onto

I'm standing here until you make me move

I'm hanging by a moment here with you

I'm living for the only thing I know

I'm running and not quite sure where to go

And I don't know what I'm diving into

Just hanging by a moment here with you

Yaz was unabashedly staring, her mouth slightly agape at the alien’s vocal talent. She was no Celine Dion, but to call her untalented seemed like an understatement.

“Doctor? Yaz?” Both of them jumped as a new voice called out. Yaz reflexively took a step back from the other woman, trying to put a respectable distance between them.

“You two alright?” Ryan asked, peering suspiciously at them. “You’ve been under the console for hours…”

“FINE!” The Doctor shouted over the music. “SORRY ABOUT THE MUSIC, WE CANT GET IT TO STOP!”

Ryan stared quizzically at her. “What music?”

“Cant you hear it?” Yaz shouted.

Ryan shook his head. “Nope. And can you stop the shouting? I’m not deaf.”

Yaz and the Doctor simultaneously sighed.

Chapter Text

It took two more days to finally stop the assault of Lifehouse music. Even leaving the ship was only a temporary reprieve; the song was always playing softly inside both of their heads whenever they were inside the TARDIS.

The Doctor had taken to wearing giant earmuffs everywhere around the TARDIS. But the gesture was useless; her hearing was just as good with them as without and the music reverberated inside her skull anyway.

“It’s like you’re trying to tell me something…” She muttered to the console as she stripped the audio circuits entirely, the console room blissfully silent for the first time in days as she worked. “But what? Am I supposed to visit the 80’s again? I don’t think they need another of my fashion trends to stick…”

Yaz laughed, causing the Time Lord’s face to color as she realized she’d not heard her approach. “Another? What, did you cause bell-bottoms to happen?”

The Doctor shrugged. “Shoulder pads, actually.”

Yaz’s face lit up. “Really?”

“It was all just a big misunderstanding really.” The Doctor stood, stowing her sonic in her pocket and tugging the earmuffs down around her neck. “…just so happened that I built shields into my jacket for a particularly aggressive Dyiran mammal…”

Her ramble died in her throat as she watched Yaz try to stifle her giggles. The human was practically shaking with mirth.

“Go on…please…” Yaz choked out, attempting to hide her beaming smile behind her hand.

“..not important.” The Doctor murmured. She turned away before she could start staring in full, forcefully ignoring the way her right heart was skipping every other beat. Busying herself with her sonic, she returned to the console. Meticulously placing the audio circuits back together, she managed to ignore Yaz for all of ten seconds.

“Doctor…I were only laughing because it was so…you…I didn’t…I mean I wasn’t…”

“I know Yaz.”

There was a moment of uncomfortable silence in the console room, the only noise being the TARDIS whirring impatiently.

The Time Lord searched for anything to say; anything that would break this horrible awkwardness between them. They had never been like this. From day one it had always been easy to be herself (her new self!) around Yasmin Khan. Where was this feeling coming from like they were just pretending?

Soft footsteps behind her made her tense and she hated herself for it. “Can I help at all?” Yaz asked, ignorant of the Doctor’s aversion to her own reaction to Yaz’s proximity.

The young woman slid closer and the Doctor curled her hands around the edge of the console to keep herself from inching away. Her hearts were stuttering at the miserable look on the human’s face. “Yaz…”

She reached out; her fingers caressed the air, a mere three inches from Yaz’s shoulder.


Love I get so lost, sometimes

Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart

When I want to run away

I drive off in my car

But whichever way I go

I come back to the place you are

Rage filled her.

“Seriously?” The Doctor slammed her earmuffs back up, angrily stalking away from Yaz. She rounded the console, kicking open the hatch where her information circuits were stored. Her hearts were speeding up, as if trying to retroactively regain the beats they had skipped when Yaz had been so close to her…

The Time Lord shook her head in frustration. Damn. It had to be Peter Gabriel. She had a weak spot for the poor soul. Her resolution hardened as she listened to his voice. This was a technical problem. She could fix this. She could fix technical problems. She couldn’t make her hearts stop jumping around the human but by Gallifrey, she was going to make the TARDIS stop playing random love ballads!

Kneeling, she began to work on the information recall. Maybe she could just erase every song she had ever put on here…


All my instincts, they return

And the grand facade, so soon will burn

Without a noise, without my pride

I reach out from the inside

“Doctor?” She flinched slightly as Yaz came up behind her. She should have known she would stay. She always stayed. It was one of the things she liked so much about her.

“You okay?” Yaz asked as the woman sprang to her feet, half an information crystal broken off in her fist.

“Fine.” She replied curtly, snatching her sonic from her pocket and scanning the entire control panel. “Just peachy. I’m handling it.” She bit her tongue to stop the frustrated ramble tumbling from her mouth.

“Do you need help?” Yaz sounded unsure, as if hearing something off in her voice.

The Doctor sighed. “No, I…” She whirled around, only to find Yaz very close to her face. She was instantly lost in the startled woman’s impossibly brown eyes.


In your eyes

The light the heat

In your eyes

I am complete

In your eyes

I see the doorway to a thousand churches

In your eyes

The resolution of all the fruitless searches

In your eyes

I see the light and the heat

In your eyes

It was only the crystal in her hand that stopped her from tucking the loose strands of hair away from Yaz’s face. As it was, the Time Lord instinctively leaned closer.

She saw Yaz inhale sharply, her gaze flicking down and back up again.

Oh no…


Oh, I want to be that complete

I want to touch the light

The heat I see in your eyes

Blinking hard, the Doctor pulled away from Yaz, berating herself for leading the human on.

TARDIS, Time Lord, I can fix this…

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Yaz take a shaky breath and tuck her long mane of hair behind her ear.

Nothing to it. Just don’t get distracted. She waved a hand over her shoulder. “I got this Yaz, just give me an hour or so…”

She heard the woman take another step closer. “Are you sure you don’t need…?”

“I SAID I got it!” Her snappy retort reverberated around the console room, backed up by the long musical interlude.

There was a moment of horrific silence.

Yaz lowered her gaze. “Alright then.” Without another word, she turned on her heel and left the room.

Angrily, the Doctor kicked the console.

Irritated, the TARDIS whirred back at her, only adding to the mess of noise inside her head.

Why couldn’t she fix this?

 

***

 

The Doctor knew it was daft. She knew it and yet here she was.

Standing outside of her own bedroom wondering if she should knock.

The Time Lord twisted her hands, alternating biting each of her lips. She couldn’t stomach the expression Yaz had made when she’d dismissed her from the console room. How did such an amazing human manage to display such vulnerability so easily? Why did she hate that she was the cause?

Why was she here?

Taking a deep, resigned breath, she knocked lightly then opened the door.

“Doctor.” Yaz was sprawled on the bed they’d had to share for quite some time now. She closed the book she was reading and regarded the woman in front of her.

The Doctor was ready for anger, for indignation, petulance even. But this calmness, this icy rigidity was somehow worse.

“I…I got the music to stop…” The Doctor offered lamely.

Yaz said nothing. It was a fairly obvious fact. Her expression remained unchanged. She looked rather a lot like her mother just then.

The alien sighed. “Yaz I’m…I’m not good with problems I can’t fix.” She admitted, feeling like she was exposing a shred of her deepest fears. “They…bring out the worst in me. And this…this is…”

“This music thing must be driving you crazy.” Yaz finished. Her words were sympathetic but her voice wasn’t.

The Time Lord sagged. “You have no idea….” She risked a glance at the human. Yaz was still rigid but her face had thawed somewhat. “Do you know that feeling…” the Doctor began, her hands starting to gesture, “when you know that there’s a problem…and you’re sure that you know the solution but…you just can’t seem to get to it?”

Yaz let out a sigh, sounding like she’d been holding it in for quite some time. “I suppose…”

“So…seeing as I still can’t get to the solution I need…I wanted to ask…” The Doctor paused, needing to swallow before she could continue. “Can I join you?” She tried to make the request sound apologetic.

The young woman’s face relaxed instantly. “It’s your bed…” Yaz pointed out, blushing in a way that made the Doctor’s left heart tighten to a painful degree. “You finally tired enough to sleep?” The slightly teasing tone in her voice told the Time Lord that she was forgiven.

“It’s more of a conscious decision…” The Doctor admitted, pulling her suspenders down. “I don’t feel a compulsion towards sleep, I just have to choose when to shut myself down for a few hours.” Kicking off her shoes, she sat down next to Yaz on the bed.

Yaz stretched out, looking proper tired now that the Doctor could see her up close. “Must be nice…to have a choice in that.” She yawned. “We humans are…” Another huge yawn. “…pretty useless without daily sleep.”

“I don’t think so…” She leaned down, making to lie beside Yaz in her usual spot on the bed (above the covers of course).

Both of them tensed up as a new song started.


We'll do it all

Everything

On our own

 

We don't need

Anything

Or anyone

The Doctor stood up, already tugging a suspender back into place. “Guess I need that solution sooner than I thought…”

A warm hand rested gently on her forearm. Her breath hitching, she looked back into Yaz’s dark, dark eyes.

“You don’t have to fix it now…” Yaz murmured. It wasn’t a command, it was an invitation.

The Time Lord sat back down, letting Yaz unhook the strap from her shoulder. The young woman regarded her with half-closed eyes. “I actually really like this song.” She told her. Yaz laced their fingers together and gently tugged the Doctor down, letting her lay beside her.

The Time Lord swallowed, hoping Yaz was too tired to hear the double-time samba her pulse was hammering out on her ribcage. “Yeah it’s not bad…” She had a story she could tell about this song but decided that sharing her personal connection to every song the TARDIS played was a bit much.

Yaz fiddled with the comforter. “Maybe we could just…listen to it?” She suggested softly.

The Doctor smiled, her hearts finally settling. “Sure.” She crawled under the covers, resting her head next to Yaz’s. They listened.


If I lay here

If I just lay here

Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Yaz was fidgeting, her face darkening in color.

“What is it?” The Doctor asked, rolling slightly so she could look at her. The young woman was never usually this timid about anything.

Bashfully, Yaz regarded her. “Would you…sing for me?” She asked, in barely more than a whisper.

The Doctor’s eyes widened but she was secretly thrilled. Yaz was the one with the beautiful voice but she wanted to hear hers instead?


I don't quite know

How to say

How I feel

 

Those three words

Are said too much

They're not enough

 

If I lay here

If I just lay here

Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

Forget what we're told

Before we get too old

Show me a garden that's bursting into life

 

Let's waste time

Chasing cars

Around our heads

I need your grace

To remind me

To find my own

Sometime later, the Doctor realized that Yaz had drifted off to sleep while she’d been softly singing along. She made to get up but the young woman abruptly turned in her sleep, curling closer to the Time Lord. “…Doctor…”

Both of her hearts melted. Screw fixing them, it was better to lose them altogether. So long as it was to Yaz.

“Alright.” She said softly. Lying back, she stared at the human, forgetting the world outside their room and the nagging dangers of the past that had threatened everyone she’d cared for every time she got this close to a companion. But she listened to the song until she too, drifted into sleep.


If I lay here

If I just lay here

Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

 

Forget what we're told

Before we get too old

Show me a garden that's bursting into life

 

All that I am

All that I ever was

Is here in your perfect eyes, they're all I can see

 

I don't know where

Confused about how as well

Just know that these things will never change for us at all

 

If I lay here

If I just lay here

Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

As the two women slept peacefully next to each other, the chorus slowly faded back into the ship’s usual whirs and beeps. The TARDIS stayed silent all night.

Chapter Text

“So which will it be, Time Lord?” The Ragzonite taunted. “Your time machine, or your companion’s head?” Yaz felt the alien mercenary tug her hair and tried not to wince as the blade ghosted closer to her throat.

She was focused entirely on the Doctor, on the beautiful, furious woman staring down three huge Ragzonites with nothing but her trusty sonic.

“Oh it’ll be neither.” The Doctor said, the levity in her voice doing little to mask her obvious anger and disgust with the aliens. “I quite like both my ship and that human there. So I don’t think we’ll be negotiating because unlike you lot, I remember all my chemistry classes from GCST. And I remember that mixing your ship’s fuel with calcium carbonate and stirring it up with a little sonic vibration makes a pretty massive…” Pointing her sonic upward, she ignited it. “…bang.”

The massive ship above them groaned, the metal expanding noticeably. All three Ragzonites looked up, the one holding Yaz momentarily loosening his grip.

Immediately, Yaz ducked and twisted, slamming both of her hands against the alien holding her. The move, a staple in Sheffield police training, was surprisingly universal in its effectiveness. The mercenary toppled, taking out his two fellows as he fell.

Yaz was already running, grabbing the Doctor’s hand as they sped towards the TARDIS. “Come on!” She had to pull the woman along at first, the Time Lord seemingly caught up in enacting her plan.

They crested the ridge and tumbled into the woods below.

“Ryan and Graham?” Yaz called as they dashed through the forest of bubble-gum pink trees, the aliens firing after them.

“Already heading back to the TARDIS.” The Doctor replied, now tugging Yaz along. “Time we got out of here before that engine goes critical.”

“Wait, you weren’t bluffing?”

The Doctor stopped instantly, her eyes intense as she regarded Yaz. A laser blast shattered a tree three feet from her and she didn’t even flinch. “They threatened you, Yaz. They deserve what they get.”

For a moment, both of them were silent, Yaz trying to comprehend the complete devotion and depth of feeling directed entirely at her from this amazing woman.

Both of them flinched as laser blasts tore through the tree next to them. Before Yaz could catch her breath, the Doctor was pulling her along again. Seconds later, the TARDIS came into view. Ryan and Graham were wandering towards the box from the opposite direction, seemingly unaware of what was going on.

Both of them stared as Yaz and the Doctor approached.

“RUN!” The Doctor yelled to them, pointing her sonic. The TARDIS doors swung open. “Get inside!”

Both of them sprang into action, racing into the box.

Yaz was running as fast as she could, the Doctor's hand tight in hers, adrenaline pumping through her. They were going to make it!

Just before they could dive through the open doors, they slammed shut. The Doctor skidded, trying vainly to stop but only succeeded in spinning herself around.

They collided painfully, pressed chest to chest against the doors, Yaz’s chin knocking into the Doctor’s shoulder.

“Sorry…” Yaz moaned, her heart racing for an entirely different reason now. She would have hid her face but the only place it could go was in the shoulder of the woman pressed against her. And she couldn’t just do that. Nope.

“Don’t worry about it…” The Doctor panted, her arm curling around Yaz. Her eyes dropped down, a slight smile softening her face. Their eyes locked. Once again, Yaz was lost in the woman’s gaze, in the effortless appreciation she gave her. The chest under hers contracted with a short laugh. “You were brilliant back there…just absolutely…”

She cut off as the blue light over their heads flared briefly and music started playing.

Moving forward using all my breath

Making love to you was never second best

I saw the world crashing all around your face

Never really knowing it was always mesh and lace

The Doctor groaned. “Cheeky cow…now’s really not the time for a soundtrack!” Keeping one arm protectively around Yaz, she fumbled the doors open and pulled them through. The Doctor slammed them shut behind them, barely missing another laser blast.

“There we are!” The Doctor called over the continuing song, one arm still slung around Yaz’s shoulder. “Nice work, fam!”

Ryan and Graham stared at them and Yaz lowered her head slightly to better hide her blush. But she wasn't going to move with the Doctor's arm still in place.

The Doctor glanced between the two. “Wot?”

I'll stop the world and melt with you

You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time

There's nothing you and I won't do

I'll stop the world and melt with you

Graham tilted his head to the side. “Not to cause alarm but is anyone else hearing Melt with You right now? The song?”

“No!” Yaz shouted, practically leaping away from the Doctor. “I think you’re hearing things Graham!”

“No need to shout.”

Ryan nodded. “Yeah…I hear it. Wait…”

As the four of them listened, the volume of the song dropped dramatically.

Dream of better lives the kind which never hates

(You should see why)

Trapped in the state of imaginary grace

(You should know better)

I made a pilgrimage to save this humans race

(You should see why)

Never comprehending the race has long gone bye

“This again…” The Doctor moaned. “Every time I try something new, a new song plays…I wonder what started it this time?” She set the coordinates and pulled the lever. With a jolt, they took off. The music blissfully continued to play, the volume low and sweet.

I'll stop the world and melt with you

(Let's stop the world) You've seen the difference and it's getting better all
the time

(Let's stop the world) There's nothing you and I won't do

(Let's stop the world) I'll stop the world and melt with you

“This is just like what happened when the TARDIS played that Top Gun song.” Ryan commented, walking over to lean next to the Doctor. “The only difference is, you two were pressed up against a column that time instead of hugging.”

The Doctor rounded on Ryan as if he’d just insulted time itself. “What?”

Even Graham looked at Ryan like he’d just said something taboo.

“Remember?” Ryan prompted, completely missing the warnings. “The music played that time you almost crushed Yaz when the TARDIS spun?”

The Doctor scrunched her face, even her forehead wrinkling as she tried to process what Ryan had said.

Yaz paled, a sudden spark of realization hitting her square in the stomach. Oh no…

She took a step closer to the Doctor. The music swelled.

I'll stop the world and melt with you

(Let's stop the world) You've seen the difference and it's getting better all
the time

(Let's stop the world) There's nothing you and I won't do

(Let's stop the world) I'll stop the world and melt with you

Yaz took a step away. The Doctor looked at her, one eyebrow raised in confusion.

I'll stop the world and melt with you

(Let's stop the world)…

The song faded entirely as Yaz took another step, the echo ringing hollowly in the room.

Sudden comprehension broke over the Time Lord’s face but her usual delight at solving a problem was absent from her expression. Rather, she seemed almost…hurt.

Yaz’s heart was thudding unnaturally loudly in her ears…that first time, with the guitar…their hands had brushed…then the almost collision in the doorway…then the moment at the console when the Doctor had leaned in so close that Yaz had instantly thought about placing a delicate peck on those lips…

Every time, even when they’d slept next to each other. The music…

She swallowed hard, suddenly finding it far too hot in the console room.

The Doctor was looking from Yaz to the TARDIS, her mouth slightly open. But she didn’t seem particularly startled.

Right. Yaz realized with a curl of shame. The woman was a time traveling alien. She’d probably figured this out days ago. Or at least suspected. That would explain why she had been so averse to touching her that day they’d talked about the 80’s.

Yaz turned to Ryan and Graham. Ryan was looking back and forth between Yaz and the Doctor. He hadn’t quite figured it out yet. But he was getting there. Slowly, his eyebrows raised and he glanced at Yaz. She couldn’t meet his gaze.

Graham was staring at her as well, a silent apology resting in the upturned corner of his mouth.

Yaz felt utterly naked. Had they all suspected? Was she the only one who’d missed it?

She looked at the Doctor again. But that was a mistake.

It wasn’t a look Yaz could describe. But she knew what it meant. “Yaz…” The Doctor stepped towards her, one hand outstretched. Their contact had been so effortless a minute ago. But now…

I'll stop the world and melt with you

(Let's stop the world) You've seen the difference and it's getting better all
the time

When the Doctor turned back to the console again, distracted by the resurgence of music, Yaz fled the room. The music faded slowly behind her.

(Let's stop the world) There's nothing you and I won't do

(Let's stop the world) I'll stop the world and melt with…

Chapter Text

The TARDIS was eerily silent.

The Doctor adjusted her flight pattern, hoping for some kind of indignant noise from her ship. She hated changing course mid-flight. But the ship shifted without even a whimper of protest.

The constant barrage of music had almost become normal to her. But now, it seemed like even the engine was running quieter, trying not to disturb this incredible silence that filled her head.

Her face scrunched up in frustration as she hovered over the controls. “Why are you like this? What did I do?”

There was no answer.

“Are you jealous?”

Still nothing.

The Doctor sighed, slumping against the console. “Great, now even you’re not talking to me.” She adjusted several levers and turned her back, sitting on the lip of the controls. Her hands fidgeted.

Staying away from Yasmin Khan was like trying to keep a magnet from jumping to join its mate.

The Doctor hadn’t quite noticed just how close her and Yaz had gotten, both physically and emotionally. But now that the absence was palpable, she missed having the young woman at her elbow, grasping her shoulder or arm to urge her along during adventures, leaning against her as they shared a bed at night, breathing in her soft scent…

In other words, after less than a day, the Doctor was already feeling the strain.

Her hands were still fidgeting, furiously and mindlessly dissecting the discarded neural-balancer she’d left on the console two days ago. The pieces dropped from her fingers and clattered to the floor.

It didn’t help that Yaz was jumping away from her like she expected to be electrocuted if she got too close. It had made trying to keep her safe during their adventure on Kossalak very difficult. Then Yaz had just disappeared deep into the TARDIS, making it impossible for the Doctor to talk to her. Or to test her theory about the music.

Another frustrated sigh consumed her. “I don’t get it.” She ranted, springing away from the control panel. “I really don’t. You like Yaz, don’t you?”

No answer.

“Come on…” She was practically pleading now, her hands gentle upon the dash. “What are you after here? Why the songs when we get close together?”

Something on the console shifted and to the Time Lord’s surprise and relief, music began to play.

I gotta take a little time, a little time to think things over

I better read between the lines, in case I need it when I'm older

Now this mountain I must climb, feels like the world upon my shoulders

Through the clouds I see love shine, it keeps me warm as life grows colder

 

In my life there's been heartache and pain

I don't know if I can face it again

Can't stop now, I've traveled so far, to change this lonely life

 

I want to know what love is, I want you to show me

I want to feel what love is, I know you can show me

Chuckling, the Time Lord shook her head at the song. “Now you’re just bein’ cheeky...” She brushed the edge of the console tenderly.

“…Doctor?”

She whirled at the unexpected voice. “Oh…what’re you doin’ in here?”

Ryan glanced around, clearly hearing the soul-full chorus booming around the console room. “Is…Yaz in here?” He asked.

She blushed in spite of herself. “No! No.” The Doctor flipped a switch and the music obediently faded. “The TARDIS is just…getting talkative.” She patted the crystal column.

“Right…” Ryan nodded, giving the Doctor a look she couldn’t quite read. “You alright?”

“Course I am!” She answered reflexively, “just fine. Peachy. Keen? Peachy keen?” She shook herself out of that rant. “Haven’t seen Yaz since we got back…” She rambled on, waving her arm around. “So no music…not till just then…was there something you needed Ryan?”

Ryan took her whirlwind change of topic in stride. “Yeah. I need to talk to ya ‘bout Yaz.”

The Doctor’s hearts plummeted. “What about her?”

The boy crossed to the console and leaned against it next to her. He folded his arms across his chest. He seemed a little stiff but the Doctor knew he wasn’t angry.

“I know Yaz.” Ryan began, “Probably better than you do. We may have fallen out of touch over the years but we’ve really reconnected since comin’ along with you.”

“That’s good.” The Doctor recognized. But she didn’t say anything else.

“Yaz doesn’t often run away.” Ryan continued. “She’s a fighter.” He chuckled. “I once saw her tackle a kid twice her size because he stole someone else’s toy. She lost that fight, but she still fought him again the next day. And the next until he gave it back.”

“That’s Yasmin Khan for you…” The Doctor laughed, her eyes shining. “Always so brave, so selfless…putting others first…” She smiled, thinking of Yaz and her steely determination to fight anything she had too to protect people.

“She’s a lot like you.” Ryan commented.

The Doctor’s smile faded instantly. She stared up at the crystals of the TARDIS, glowing softly in their flight. The ship whirred reassuringly in her mind, an echo of the song playing telepathically for only her.

“But Yaz does have one fatal flaw.” Ryan continued, not reacting to her changed demeanor. “She physically cannot deal with being attracted to someone.” He smirked. “Ever since we were little, she’s only run away when she can’t deal with her feelings. Ya get me?”

The Time Lord stared at him until he met her gaze. “I understand that Ryan.” She murmured.

“Yeah?”

Her eyes hardened and she turned away from him. “Because that’s why I run away too.”

 

***

 

Yaz was hiding.

There wasn’t any other way to describe it. Why else would she be tucked away in the deepest corner of the library, sitting among books so old the covers were peeling off, utterly ashamed of herself?

She leaned back against the shelf, hearing the creak of ancient leather as her head thumped against a book.

Historically, whenever something had gone wrong with a crush, she had bolted.

She’d run from Becca Carver after shyly kissing her at a party in tenth year and hidden in the bathroom until her mum had picked her up. She’d run after Tyler Michaels had caught her doodling his name in her notebook in sixth year and spent an hour blushing furiously in the girl’s locker room. She didn’t deal with crushes confronting her about her feelings. She just didn’t.

Her stomach twisted. But they’d all been silly little teenage fantasies compared to this. Being with the Doctor felt like kissing Becca while jumping off a cliff and guzzling champagne.

Yaz pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged herself tightly. She was honestly surprised she hadn’t found a way to jump out of the TARDIS to escape this. Her feelings were simply eating her alive and she didn’t have the strength to face them.

“Come on now Yaz, no point sulking about!”

Yaz startled at the voice but had nowhere else to run.

“Graham!” She looked around but thankfully, it seemed that he was alone. “How did you…?”

“How’d I find you in the deepest, darkest corner of the ship with infinite rooms?” Graham finished for her. He shrugged. “It’s where I would have gone, if I’d just realized I had feelings for an incredible, impossible woman.”

Yaz winced. “How long have you known then?”

“Honestly? Since the spiders.”

When Yaz gave him a helpless look, he smirked. “And no, it had nothing to do with your mum. I saw the way you looked at her as the Doc tried to say goodbye. There was something there. You’d have to be blind not to see it.”

“I must be blind and stupid then…” Yaz muttered, hugging her knees closer to her chest.

“Nah. You’re just too close to see it clearly.” Graham assured her, plopping himself down next to her. “Just took a little bit more obviousness to make you realize it.”

Yaz said nothing, unable to look him in the eye, even as he tried to comfort her. There had been music playing literally every time they’d touched…and she still hadn’t figured it out.

“Yaz, none of us are gonna think less of you if you admit you like the Doc.” Graham told her, as if reading her train of thought on her face. He shrugged. “I mean, who wouldn’t?”

A breathy laugh burst from Yaz. “Right…that’s the problem…”

Silence fell between them, but it didn’t feel heavy. Rather, Yaz sensed that the older man was merely waiting for the right moment to say what he had in mind.

Graham nudged her gently. “Can I tell you a story?”

Yaz shrugged. What else was there to do?

Graham leaned back against the bookshelf and sighed.

“When I met Grace, it took me a long time to figure things out.” He chuckled, more to himself than to her. “I mean, she was nice and professional and I always looked forward to seeing her. She had this way of smiling at me that just made me feel like I mattered; like there was nothing to be nervous about. She was going to be there with me the whole way through. I was in love with that smile before I’d even heard her speak.”

Yaz looked up, slowly turning to face him as he continued.

Graham smiled at the memory, his gaze distant. “I could spend all day just staring at her face. She was so effortless, so approachable and accepting. For weeks, I thought ‘she must just be like this with everyone, it cant just be for me.’

“But then one day, I came in early for my chemo and saw her working hard, clearly having a bad day. But she still smiled at me exactly the same. And crazy as it sounds, I just knew. I knew that smile was meant for me alone. That’s the day I first asked her out.”

Yaz leaned her head back. “That’s really beautiful Graham…” Her voice caught unexpectedly. She wished in that moment that she had gotten to know Grace better.

Graham smiled at her and patted her shoulder. “You know why I told you?”

Yaz let out a self-deprecating laugh. “To tell me not to write off the chance? That someone like the Doctor could possibly care more about me than anyone else she’s met and loved in her entire impossibly long life?”

Graham let her finish, waiting several seconds for her insecure outburst to fade into guilty flashes of heat under her skin.

“No.” He told her. “Because you may not have noticed, but the Doc has a smile just for you.”

Giving her shoulder a gentle squeeze, he left Yaz to think on that.

 

***

 

Graham met Ryan in the kitchen.

“How’d it go?” Ryan demanded, “is she alright?”

“She’s more than a little embarrassed but I think she’ll come round.” Graham told him, digging out a box of custard creams. “How about the Doc?”

Ryan shrugged. “I couldn’t really get a read on her. One second she’s gushing about Yaz, the next she’s all sad and reserved like she hates herself for getting so excited.”

Graham passed Ryan a plate of biscuits.

“We just need to get them to talk to each other.” Ryan continued, biting a biscuit in half. “They’re fine once they get to talkin’.”

“I think they’re more afraid of bein’ in the same room together than talking right now.” Graham pointed out, filling the kettle and placing it down on the stove top. “Not unless we could get them to talk without them being near each other...”

“I could give the Doctor my phone.” Ryan offered, leaving the plate behind so he could find cups. “Then have Yaz call it…”

“That’s not a bad idea!” Graham encouraged him, digging around for teabags in the cupboards.

“What’s not?”

They both jumped at the voice, whirling to find the Doctor already polishing off the plate of biscuits and eying them curiously.

“Blimey Doc, one of these days you’re going to give me a heart attack!” Graham complained.

“Don’t be so dramatic Graham!” She chided, snatching the custard cream package off the counter and tucking it under her arm. “What’s this great idea Ryan’s had?”

“Nothin’!” Ryan insisted. “Seen Yaz lately?”

The Doctor looked taken aback but before she could answer, the wall beside the stove opened like a door and spit a very confused-looking Yaz into the center of the kitchen.

“Blimey, Yaz!” Graham cried, actually clutching his chest this time. “What is it with everyone popping up out of thin air today?”

“Yaz…there you are…”

Both Ryan and Graham froze as the women made eye contact.

Yaz and the Doctor just stood there for a silent moment, staring at each other. Graham put a hand on Ryan’s arm to keep him from saying anything. The two of them watched the women as if observing skittish wildlife.

The Doctor took a step closer. Yaz remained rooted to the spot. The boys didn’t even dare breathe.

The kettle began to whistle, breaking the silence with a shrill demand for attention. Yaz took that opportunity to dash around Ryan and dart back into the bowels of the TARDIS. The Doctor raised a hand after her but made no move to follow. Yaz’s retreating footsteps quickly faded into the distance.

The Doctor turned to the boys, her shoulders sagging. She opened her mouth like she wanted to say something, then turned and left without a word (taking the package of biscuits with her).

“Well, that could have gone better…” Ryan commented, crossing to the stove to deal with the unfortunate kettle.

Graham leaned back in his seat, looking over his shoulder at the still-open chunk of wall. “Give it time lad…I don’t think we’re the only ones wanting those two to talk…”

***

Yaz was well and truly lost now.

It was bad enough that she’d taken that wrong turn into the kitchen (and almost collided right into the Doctor), now it seemed like she couldn’t even find her way back to the library or her bedroom. Had she seen this hallway before?

“Oh come on…” She muttered to herself as she hit the console room for the fifth time. She made to turn around.

“I wanna know what love is…”

Yaz paused at the soft voice, her heart unexpectedly skipping. The Doctor was singing.

“I want you to show me…”

The Time Lord was fiddling with the console, keeping up her usual insane level of energy. But her voice was low and somber.

“I want to feel what love is…”

Yaz took an involuntary step towards her, before her head had time to catch up. There was a loud clanging noise as a section of piping clattered to the floor next to her.

The Doctor whirled at the noise, the song dying on her breath. “Yaz…”

Flinching, Yaz immediately took a step back. “Doctor…” She could feel her body preparing to bolt again.

“Wait Yaz…!” She paused, the Doctor’s voice anchoring her feet in place. “Please don’t go.” The Time Lord pleaded. “Let’s just…let’s…” But she couldn’t seem to articulate exactly what she wanted. And the way she was looking at Yaz made the younger woman’s heart flutter.

Yaz took another step back. She didn’t want to. She had to. “I…I cant…I’m sorry…”

She bolted, racing towards the doorway to the corridor. Yaz rounded the corner at top speed…only to find herself hurtling back into the console room from the other side.

“What the…?” Before she could process the abrupt rearrangement of the TARDIS doorways, someone walked right into her path.

The very someone she was trying so hard to avoid.

“Yaz…!”

There was no time to yell. There wasn’t even time to flinch.

They collided like marbles, Yaz’s head hitting the Time Lord square in the stomach. The woman pitched backwards, her feet tangling in Yaz’s still-running ankles.

Pitching forward, Yaz only barely managed to catch herself on her elbows. Catching her breath was another chore entirely.

They were stretched out on the floor, the Doctor on her back and Yaz barely keeping herself upright over the woman’s chest. The Doctor’s face was mere inches from her own, their hips pressed together, legs tangled. Yaz’s brain short-circuited, her thoughts careening off the nearest cliff and vanishing forever. The Doctor was underneath her.

The Doctor was panting slightly, dazedly staring up at her like she was the most brilliant of stars…

Yaz tried very hard not to move.

Without warning, a familiar saxophone riff erupted in the silence, raucous and mournful.

“Oh sweet hell.” Yaz moaned, her embarrassment tripling. She ducked her face, wishing for death. “Anything but this…”

“That’s me you know…back in the day…” The Doctor commented off-handedly, as if that knowledge would in any way make this situation better. It didn’t. It just made Yaz even more enthralled with the woman under her.

I feel so unsure

As I take your hand and lead you to the dance floor

As the music dies, something in your eyes

Calls to mind the silver screen

And all its sad good-byes

“Do you have a story for every single song that we’ve heard?” Yaz demanded, trying in vain not to think about the Doctor playing the saxophone.

The Time Lord shrugged. “I’ve been around a bit…”

Yaz raised an eyebrow, amused in spite of herself. “Have you?”

“Not like tha’!” The Time Lord insisted, her eyes widening.

I'm never gonna dance again

Guilty feet have got no rhythm

Though it's easy to pretend

I know you're not a fool

 

Should've known better than to cheat a friend

And waste the chance that I've been given

So I'm never gonna dance again

The way I danced with you

“So I’m just supposed to believe that you’ve never snogged anyone?”

“I never said that! I was merely referencing my long life as reason for my multitude of stories!”

“I’m sure your time as a man was full of ‘stories’ as you call them…”

The Doctor squirmed under her. “Oi! I didn’t go askin’ you about the ones you’ve snogged!” The indignant look on her face shattered any feelings of discomfort curling in Yaz’s chest.

It was all just so ridiculous; sitting across the Doctor’s hips, listening to a cheesy love song while arguing about past lovers. Yaz started giggling, then full on laughing when she saw the Doctor clearly trying to stifle a laugh of her own. Within seconds, they were lost in hysterics, their chortles drowning out the reprise of the infamous saxophone solo.

I'm never gonna dance again

Guilty feet have got no rhythm

Though it's easy to pretend

I know you're not a fool

 

Should've known better than to cheat a friend

And waste the chance that I've been given

So I'm never gonna dance again

The way I danced with you

Gasping, Yaz pressed her forehead into the woman’s shoulder. Without hesitation, the Doctor’s arm curled around her, holding her close. Yaz lost her breath all over again but let herself melt into the embrace. After their imposed physical separation, it just felt so good.

For just this moment, it was just them and this ridiculous love song, together.

I'm never gonna dance again

Guilty feet have got no rhythm

Though it's easy to pretend

I know you're not a fool

 

Should've known better than to cheat a friend

And waste the chance that I've been given

So I'm never gonna dance again

The way I danced with you

As the song faded (the TARDIS apparently having mercy now that they were staying close together), Yaz slowly raised her head. She met the Doctor’s concerned eyes and felt her heart clench.

“What do we do now?”

Chapter Text

There was a song playing. On repeat. Quite loudly.

Yaz sighed, rolling over and jamming a pillow over her head. The volume remained unchanged. “We said we would talk in the morning…” she growled, trying to wriggle further under the covers.

The TARDIS hummed loudly in her ears and the volume edged upwards slightly as the song began again.

I hear the ticking of the clock
I'm lying here the room's pitch dark
I wonder where you are tonight
No answer on the telephone
And the night goes by so very slow
Oh I hope that it won't end though
Alone

 

Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone

Yaz opened her eyes, staring intently at the burn on the wall where the Doctor had accidentally chucked her blowtorch across the room and singed the wood as if she could will herself to fall asleep.

She couldn’t. And not just because of the song. Here she was, curled up in the bed that wasn’t hers but was beginning to feel like it was. And the owner of the bed was missing. Waiting to have that anxiety-inducing Talk in the morning.

The song pounded on in her head and Yaz tried in vain not to think about the woman just a short walk away alone in the control room.

***

“You don’t know how long I have wanted…to touch your lips and hold you tight…”

The Doctor hummed along with the baseline, marveling that the TARDIS had finally picked a song she actually had no personal connection to. Her singing was soft and even her hands were relatively steady as they fiddled with some faulty wiring under the console. But her mind was racing.

“You don’t know how long I have waited…and I was gonna tell you tonight…”

It had been bothering her for awhile to be honest. Just how much she wanted to talk to Yaz. Just how much she liked being close to the woman and just watching her.

She’d known from the beginning of course that Yaz would become her favorite. Not that she didn’t love and appreciate the boys, but something about Yaz had just firmly anchored both her hearts in place. For a long time, she’d attributed it simply to both of them being women. Then she’d written it off as simply the fact that she’d had mostly female companions for all of her previous regenerations. Then she’d fully recognized just how incredible of a human Yasmin Khan was and she’d begun to question her motives. But it was that night she’d lost her hearts to the sleeping human that had truly shown her just how deep in she was.

The Doctor sighed, abandoning her karaoke song and her work to let her head fall into her hands. Faces swam in front of her, faces she’d similarly cared for and lost.

She couldn’t do this again…not even for Yaz…could she?

Ryan's words came back to her. Yaz had run. The woman was in this just as deep as she was...perhaps deeper.

“But the secret…is still my own…”

Her head shot up so fast that her vision temporarily faded. Not that she needed it. She’d know that voice anywhere.

“And my love for you…is still unknown…”

Their eyes met across the console room.

“Alone.”

“Till now I always got by on my own
I never really cared until I met you
And now it chills me to the bone
How do I get you alone
How do I get you alone?”

The song faded as Yaz stepped up next to the console. The Time Lord smiled and Yaz’s heart skipped. Was that the smile Graham had mentioned?

“I guess she wanted you in here too?” The Doctor commented, standing up and brushing her pants off.

“Yeah…” Yaz replied, unsure if she should risk getting closer. “Also, I…couldn’t sleep.”

The Doctor nodded in understanding. “There’s been a lot going on around here lately…the music is just the beginning…”

Yaz chuckled, her heart racing now that it seemed the Talk was coming. “Right…like all those times we ‘accidentally’ fell into each other?” She kept her tone light, feeling her body tensing up to run.

The Time Lord grinned. “Or the whole bedroom fiasco?”

Yaz blushed. “Well…to be honest, I didn’t mind that one so much.” She took a deep breath and looked right up into the woman’s eyes. “It’s nice having you lying beside me at night.”

There was complete silence to that. So much so that her urge to bolt churned inside of her.

But then the time lord’s face relaxed and softened, into a look Yaz knew well but had never really looked at before. It was the look the woman had given her when she’d asked to travel with her, the look they’d shared when she’d asked to see Dan’s daughter. The look the Doctor (now that she really thought about it), only ever gave her.

Her legs locked in place. Her fear evaporated. It was okay.

A soft hum began to take shape in the air around them, like the universe quivering and coming into focus.

I found a love for me
Darling just dive right in
And follow my lead
Well I found a girl beautiful and sweet
I never knew you were the someone waiting for me

The Doctor’s face lit up with sudden elation, transforming her from that part of herself that was just for Yaz, back into that delightfully insane woman she gave fully to the world. “Is this Ed Sheeran?!” Her smile transformed her whole body. She was practically vibrating with excitement. “Oh wow, I get it now. I totally get it. He is as good as you all say.”

Yaz felt her face relax in a rush of overwhelming compassion for the woman in front of her. Just watching her get this excited over something like this was an addictive feeling. She could watch the Doctor looking this happy forever.

'Cause we were just kids when we fell in love
Not knowing what it was
I will not give you up this time
But darling, just kiss me slow, your heart is all I own
And in your eyes you're holding mine

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath
But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight

“You know what everyone does when they hear this song?” Yaz asked.

The Doctor looked at her, puzzled. “What do they do?”

Stunned by her own bravery, Yaz held out her arms. “Dance with me?”

For the briefest of seconds, the Doctor’s face looked stunned. But it quickly softened with realization. “Oh, of course…” She wrapped an arm around Yaz’s waist. “Definitely.” Her hand remained light and unchallenging, barely touching Yaz.

Sucking in a breath, Yaz took a step forward, closing the gap between them until they were nearly pressed together.

She looked up at the Doctor. The time lord said nothing but her eyes were shining with happiness. They swayed together like any other couple on a dance floor lost in the beautiful story that was so unique and yet so universal.

Well I found a woman, stronger than anyone I know
She shares my dreams, I hope that someday I'll share her home
I found a love, to carry more than just my secrets
To carry love, to carry children of our own

 

We are still kids, but we're so in love
Fighting against all odds
I know we'll be alright this time
Darling, just hold my hand
Be my girl, I'll be your man
I see my future in your eyes

 

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
When I saw you in that dress, looking so beautiful
I don't deserve this, darling, you look perfect tonight

“You know…” The Doctor began, in a tone of voice Yaz had come to recognize recently. She pulled back slightly but only to glare halfheartedly.

“If you’re about to tell me that you’re playing the guitar on this song…”

“No, No!” The Doctor insisted. “I haven’t met Ed Sheeran. Yet. So I could be…for all I know.” Yaz gave her a look. “No, I wanted to say that this song…it’s still played at weddings. Thousands of years in the future. Millions of couples have danced to this as their first dance. Even on other planets…”

“Maybe it’s a universal feeling…” Yaz offered, her next swaying step somehow pushing them even closer together, “the idea of finding the perfect person and just feeling…perfectly at home with them. It doesn’t have to be complicated, or erotic. It just has to feel right.”

The Doctor looked at her like she had just uttered the secret to existence. Her eyes crinkled with affection. “You…are quite something Yasmin Khan…”

She leaned down and pressed her forehead to Yaz’s. She didn’t ask, so Yaz didn’t answer her out loud.

But she knew the answer. And she knew the Doctor felt it too.

Ed Sheeran boomed softly around them as they swayed together.

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark, with you between my arms
Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song
I have faith in what I see
Now I know I have met an angel in person
And she looks perfect
I don't deserve this
You look perfect tonight

It wasn’t a wedding. But it was still their first dance.