Actions

Work Header

Thasmin OneShots

Chapter Text

“Right, here we are then. January 5th. Pretty sure anyway. TARDIS did say she was going to behave this time.”

 The Doctor flung open the doors of the TARDIS and looked out outside, before nodding her head. Graham, Ryan and Yaz soon followed behind. Everything looked the same, which was a bonus really.

 “Parked her…outside this time. Because, y’know, sorry Graham. I really didn’t mean to cause such a fuss last time, honest.”

 Ryan tucked his hands into his coat pocket as he stepped outside, looking around a bit before his eyes settled on his granddad’s house. True to her word, the Doctor had placed the spaceship on the grass verge opposite, still looking very sheepishly at the ground. Graham soon followed, not quite prepared for the brisk chill in the air. For once, he was actually glad to be going home. He turned towards the Doctor, a kind smile on his face. He wasn’t too bothered about what happened last time, well, sort of. Just another thing to get used to.

 “It’s alright Doc. Thanks though. See you tonight I hope?”

 Everyone had been allowed to go home for some down time, to try and get over what had happened recently. Emotions were running high, and the Doctor really was trying to make sure her fam were alright. Especially Ryan and Graham, they’d had the tougher side of things recently. Yaz propped herself against the faded blue door frame, waving the two boys off with a sigh. She didn’t really want to go home. Not that she didn’t miss her family, she just really didn’t want another game of twenty questions with her mom about where she had spent New Year’s.

“Yeah. Of course. Promise I won’t run off without you again. I’ll drop Yaz off and be back before you know it!”

 As Ryan and Graham made their way inside the house, the Doctor ushered Yaz back inside and let the doors close behind them. She fiddled with the controls at the console and smiled as the TARDIS whirred off to her next destination. Not that far away at least, but still. It made her feel sad. Sure it was only a day, but she felt lost without her fam by her side. As the TARDIS came to a stop, she felt herself pausing. Hands lingered on the console, staring into the central column. After a second, the Time Lord spun on her heels and skipped back over to the doors.

 “Right then, here we are. Back at the flats. I’ll swing by later and come pick you up first. I’m sure the boys won’t mind. Probably won’t even notice. Don’t forget you can just call the TARDIS if you wanna come back sooner. I’ll always answer my Yaz.”

 For some reason though, Yaz wasn’t moving. She was still leaning against the other side of the console, looking out into the world. Which wasn’t the normal thing she would do, and that made the Doctor worried.

 “Yaz? You alright?”

 She walked back over towards her companion, hands in pockets, with a sympathetic smile. Yaz looked up and smiled back, shaking her head. Why wasn’t she going home?

 “I really appreciate you giving us all some time and all. But I was just wondering if…”

The Doctor tilted her head to one side, eyes scanning over the younger woman. She was fighting back a request. Or, something at the very least. Was she going to not come back? Did she not want to be around the fam anymore? Did she not want to be around her? Yaz could see the Doctor’s face scrunching up as she thought a million questions and placed her hand gently on the side of her arm.

 “Before you even say it; no, I’m not leaving. I don’t know why you’d think that. Not going to give all this up any time soon.”

 ‘Especially not you…’

 “I’d just, rather stay here. I won’t get in your way though, if you want to do your insane tinkering with the TARDIS or whatever. Pretty sure my family won’t miss me for another day.”

 It took a few seconds for the words to sink in, but eventually the Doctor smiled wide and jumped on the spot. Time with Yaz was the best. Honestly she couldn’t think of anything better herself.

 “Oh, brilliant! I could use your help with something actually. Stay right here. I’ll be back in a tick. Really.”

 Before Yaz could even contemplate a response, the Time Lord had bounded off into the corridor of the TARDIS, coat flapping behind her. Rolling her eyes, the young woman walked over to the doors, taking a final look outside. One more day really wouldn’t hurt. As she closed them, she heard slow footsteps and the sound of something being dragged across the metal floor. As she made her way back to the console, the Doctor poked her head out from behind the wall, hair tussled and smiling wearily.

 “I wanted to get Graham something to say sorry for what I did to his chair. I honestly didn’t mean to squash it. TARDIS never normally does that, don’t know why she decided to this time. Think it was because we were in a hurry. Anyway, I tried to get him a new one, but I got sent this instead and I have no idea what to do with it.”

 Rambling on, the Time Lord huffed as she dragged a flat box into the centre of the room. She dropped it with a loud thud, wiping her forehead on the sleeve of her coat. Yaz was amused at how quickly the Doctor had become dishevelled, but was also deeply curious about what she had dragged in. The box itself was rather plain, save for strange symbols marked on the front. Apparently it was also rather weighty.

 “Uh, Doctor, what have you dragged in?”

 Eyes followed the Doctor around the room as she haphazardly hung her coat up on a nearby coatrack. Hands on her hips she gestured towards the box.

 “It’s a chair. Or, it’s supposed to be. I think it broke in transport or something because this really doesn’t look like the picture. Even the box is flat. No idea what happened there. I was wondering if maybe you could figure it out. You’re a clever girl. I’m too old for this.”

 Yaz crouched down onto the floor, looking over the box carefully. It didn’t take long for her to work out what had happened, and she couldn’t stop herself from laughing. It was just too funny and sweet. All the knowledge in the universe and the Doctor had been stumped by a box. The Time Lord made her way over, crouching down very close besides her companion. Her brow furrowed as she looked between the box and Yaz.

 “What? What have I done this time? I feel like I’m missing some vital information here.”

 Wiping a tear away from her eye, Yaz stood up and helped the Doctor onto her feet, chest still juddering from silent laughter.

 “Doctor. You really have no idea what this is?”

 The Time Lord shook her head, still looking very confused.

 “It’s a flat pack. You know. You build it yourself? It comes with all the pieces and you just…put them together. More to the point, where did you even get this? Or when?”

 She shrugged her shoulders and looked towards the console.

 “When Kerblam came back, I got a message saying I could get whatever I wanted. As a one off. To say thanks for not blowing them up, maybe. Dunno. Anyway, I really wanted to get a sofa, stick it in one of the rec rooms. But then I just forgot about it. But then when I kinda sorta broke Graham’s room, I thought I’d get a chair for him instead. And when I got this box I was really really confused so I put it away until maybe I could ask if anyone else knew what it was meant to be. Still get confused by new things sometimes.”

 As the Doctor turned her head back, she caught sight of Yaz placing her leather jacket across part of the console and rolling up her sleeves. For a moment, her mind wandered away before snapping back to reality.

 “I’ll help you put it up, but on one condition.”

 Rolling up her own sleeves, in an effort to match, the Time Lord smiled.

 “And what’s that?”

 “No sonic.”

 Yaz watched as the Time Lord threw her arms in the air and gave the most childish pout she had ever seen. Exasperated nonsense came out of her mouth as she folded her arms over her chest.

 “What? I love me sonic! Aww Yaz, why not? That’s not fair.”

 The young woman walked over to the unusually agitated Doctor and tried her best to offer a comforting smile. Part of her really wanted to pull her into a hug, but decided against it. Probably not the best time.

 “I know you do, but for all we know you’re sonic will set it on fire or something. These things aren’t technology. Just wood and screws. Besides, it’s more fun doing things by hand. Trust me.”

It took a while, a little more pestering, and for Yaz to start opening the box before the Doctor came around. She took the sonic screwdriver from her trouser pocket, gazed at it, before placing it down to the side. Realistically, she’d built it from scratch. Using whatever she could find. And she could mess with the TARDIS by herself. How difficult could a simple chair be?

 “Fine. I’ll go get the toolbox. Any idea what you think we’ll need? Pretty sure I’ve got every tool in the galaxy.”

 “Can’t be anything worse than a non-sonic screwdriver and maybe a hammer. Should be good to go.”

 While Yaz picked away at the tape holding the box together, the Doctor wandered back to the console. She circled around, head looking under and around the panels before spotting the box. It had been left there from her last lot of repairs, since the whole vacuum in space incident, and was surprised the TARDIS hadn’t just poofed it away somewhere else. Triumphantly, she skipped back to Yaz and dropped it besides her with a clatter. The Doctor lowered herself onto the floor, crossing her legs and waited expectantly.

 Tearing away the last bit of tape from the side, Yaz sighed as she pushed stray strands of hair from her eyes. Her ponytail was already coming undone slightly, barely keeping her hair together. Grabbing hold of the side, she flipped half of the cardboard over to reveal several bags of pieces and parts. Leaving the Time Lord to mess around with the bags, she picked up the instruction guide, flicking through the pages briefly. It all looked very complicated. A chair couldn’t be that difficult to make. At least it had pictures.

 “Okay, let’s just make sure we have everything we need. Not sure how alien flat packs works, but half the time there’s always something missing back home. Dad likes to keep a note of all missing things so he can go on about it later. Drives mom mad.”

 Taking her eyes away from the booklet, Yaz was surprised to see that all the pieces of the chair had been laid out. Each piece was regimentally organised, and she watched as the Doctor fumbled around with a tiny bag of screws as she tried to open the bag. Evidently the Time Lord was a quick worker. And much more organised that the young woman had expected her to be. With her scatterbrain and all.

 With a triumphant ‘yes’, the Doctor took her eyes away from the bag to look at Yaz. Who, had somehow stopped talking since the last time she had tuned in. She could feel heat rising in her cheeks, praying that she hadn’t zoned out for too long.

 “Sorry Yaz. I was listening, I swear. It’s just that I saw all these things and I had a really bad urge to open the bags and to look at things and I’m really sorry if I should have left it alone. Couldn’t help myself.”

 Yaz let out another laugh, and it was like music to the Doctor’s ears. It was surprisingly infectious and she couldn’t help but chuckle herself. Although, she had no idea why they were laughing, but it felt right. Not like she had messed up, or done something socially unacceptable like usual. Once the laughter died down, she emptied the screws onto one of the thrown away bags, muttering away as she counted them all. They were tiny little things, didn’t look anywhere near strong enough to hold up a chair.

 “Thirteen…fourteen…fifteen. Fifteen screws. And some washers, I think. That enough?”

Sure enough the box had come with all the necessary parts. One hurdle done, Yaz flipped open the instruction book to the first page and pointed at the diagram. The large picture was showing how to attach the inner rods for the back rest into the supports. No screws required, they were crossed out, just a smaller picture of a hammer. Pretty simple. Yaz picked up the bottom half of the support, watching the Doctor brandish one of the rods before noticing a potential problem. Did she trust the Time Lord with a hammer?

 “Hold this a sec, please?”

 The Doctor took the piece of wood, adding it to her collection. Yaz fumbled around in the toolbox before eventually picking out the hammer. She was amazed at just how many tools were crammed in the small box, before guessing that it was probably some kind of space magic like the TARDIS or the pockets of the grey coat. Briefly placing it on the floor, the young woman took the rod in one hand before picking the hammer back up and shuffling closer.

 “So. Just hold that in place, and I’ll hammer this in.”

 As the Doctor held both sides of the base and held it out slightly, Yaz noticed her eyes dropping and a small frown appearing. Thinking nothing of it she placed one end of the rod into the first circular hole. Steadying it with one hand, she raised the hammer up and took a more forceful swing than anticipated, jolting the Doctor and feeling her hand slide down the bear wood.

 “ACK!”

 Dropping the hammer, Yaz pulled her hand away and looked down at her fingertips. The wood really wasn’t as smooth as it appeared, and she could see a thin sliver of a pale splinter sticking out of her palm. It stung. Before she could lift her free hand to try and take it out, she saw the Doctor drop the chair back an cup her hands underneath her own.

 “Careful Yaz, you might push it in deeper. Don’t want that, then you’ll be stuck with it. I mean it would come out in warm water but that really isn’t fun. Hold on.”

 The Doctor took one hand away and fished inside one of her trouser pockets, pulling out a tiny pair of silver tweezers.

 “Always prepared, me. Now, hold still.”

 Yaz felt calloused fingers lifting her palm closer to the Doctor’s eyes, eyes widening as she watched. With the most concentrated precision, evidenced by the tip of a tongue peeking out from pale lips, the splinter was out and gone. The tweezers were then casually flung over the Time Lord’s shoulder and both hands clasped tightly around dark skin. Compared to the peril-initiated hand-holding, or the rare surprise hug, this was easily the most intimate moment Yaz had experienced with the Doctor. And it made her heart soar.

 “There. All gone. Can’t have a hurt Yaz now, can we? Although I think you might wanna leave the hammer to me. Pretty sure I got this one covered. You’re much better at keeping things still anyway, can’t keep still for a minute at the best of times you know. Any better?”

With the final question, Yaz felt the grip on her hand loosen and she reluctantly pulled away. She traced a finger over the small dot of a hole in her palm and smiled. The Doctor really was kind and sometimes a bit of an actual doctor. It had been the best decision to not go home for the day. Taking her eyes away and lowering her hand, Yaz felt herself gaze at the Time Lord before nodding her head with a wider smile. Was she blushing, or just a bit too warm?

 “Yeah, thank you. Still stings a bit but I’m fine, I’ve felt worse on duty. Pass me the chair, I’ll do you a trade for the hammer. Just don’t go knocking me away or anything.”

 “Wouldn’t dream of it.”

 During the swapping of parts, their fingers and hands brushed past each other. Both faltered for a brief moment. Yaz placed the support in her lap, keeping a tight grip on the sides. The Doctor picked up the other rods, sliding them into the holes before readying the hammer. She leant forward, blonde hairs almost tickling the tip of Yaz’s nose as she gently tapped away at each rod in turn. Again, tongue poked out between the Time Lord’s lips and the young woman found herself continuing to smile.

 ‘Building with the Doctor…very entertaining.’


 

After a few hours, and some really intense laughter, the Doctor jumped up on her feet. Nearly catching her chin with the back of a screwdriver. After accidentally screwing the back support to the leg holes, and almost breaking a chair leg, their joint crafting venture was complete. Yaz pushed herself up off the floor, heaving a sigh of relief. Her chest hurt from laughing and her hands ached, but it was worth it. Just to see the Time Lord skip around before skidding to a halt at the side of the chair. It was like she was vibrating with excitement. Crossing her arms over the top of the chair, Yaz nudged her head forward. She knew what was going to come next before it happened.

 “Go on then. I can see it in your face that you want to.”

 With no other encouragement needed, the Doctor was swiftly seated on the chair. She reclined into the back, arms falling limp at her sides as she relaxed. The curve of her shoulders caught under Yaz’s chin, and the Time Lord felt her companion relax into the contact. It had been much too long since she had worked with something that wasn’t all technological and advanced. Just a simple chair. Made with care and attention. Hopefully Graham would appreciate the gesture. She had tried to find a chair as close to the original as possible, although this one would probably need a coat of varnish or paint to liven it up.

 “Oh Yaz, this is brilliant. Fantastic even. Probably the best chair ever. Could use a cushion or something though, bit too hard underneath, but still good. Thanks for your help, don’t think I could have done this by myself. Which is weird if you think about it, seeing as I’m good at so many things, but having you around made it go by so much better. Sorry. Rambling again. But really, thank you.

 Yaz closed her eyes and hummed a response. She noticed that the Doctor was smelling more like coconut today, and she felt her head dropping against soft hair. Despite her heart leaping into her chest, she couldn’t bring herself to move. The Doctor lifted a hand and tentatively placed it around the side of Yaz’s face, stroking a stray piece of hair against her skin. It wouldn’t be too long before they had to go pick up the boys, but until then, the Time Lord was more than content to just sit still and feel at peace.

Chapter Text

It had been a while since any of Team TARDIS had been back home. The Doctor had taken them on adventure after adventure, some safer than others. Yaz, Ryan and Graham had been pondering to themselves about ‘what time’ they wanted to go home. After a bit of searching online, Ryan found out that there was a fair going on in the spring. Graham quite liked the idea of going, not only was it quiet, it was also somewhere he used to frequent with Grace on their days out. Ryan wanted to try his hand at the games and see if his coordination had gotten any better. Yaz, while scanning through the activities on offer, found something totally perfect to entice the Doctor with.

 “Hey fam, what you all doing gathered around Ryan’s phone? Anything good?”

 A cheery voice permeated the trio’s hushed whispers, three heads lifting in unison as the blonde bounded over happily. Ryan hurriedly slid his phone into his jacket pocket, still terrified of handing it over to the Time Lord after what happened the first time. He liked his phone. A lot. Graham scratched at the back of his head with a smile while Yaz broke away and approached.

 “Just looking at when to go back home. Except, it’s not quite home, more of a…”

 Yaz found herself lost for words. How could she describe the group. Were they a family now? It felt like it. But she was unsure if it would cause offence to the boys. Her thoughts were interrupted by Graham graciously breaking the silence.

“Day out. You know, like what we normally do just…back on home turf. Not that we don’t love going to all those alien planets, Doc.”

 Ryan nodded, feeling a lot more relaxed about his personal belongings now the Doctor was distracted. But that was an understatement. The Time Lord bounced up and down, clapping her hands together and possibly even squealing a little bit through clenched teeth.

 “OH! A day out, with the fam, back on Earth. I love it! Where are we going? Is it a surprise? Because I love surprises. Only the good ones though, otherwise I really like to know what’s going on when and how.”

 As was becoming more of a regular occurrence, all four of them took their place at the console and began the less-than-orderly manoeuvres of controls. The TARDIS whirred and hummed as it travelled, and barely gave any trouble at all before it landed with a stutter. Unable to hold back the excitement, the Doctor was the first to rush to the doors and leapt outside.

 “Oi, hold up Doc! Wait for us! We can’t all be as fast as you, you know.”

 Graham quickly grabbed his coat while Ryan and Yaz calmly exited behind. It was a wonder that the Doctor was still lingering around at all. Her eyes were wide with excitement, unable to find any particular thing to pay attention to for more than a second. Whilst the boys stood together, Yaz took her place between them and the Time Lord with a smile. She wondered how long it would be before she had to employ some kind of leash.

  In the distance, the hustle and bustle of the fair was loud and inviting. It was a cross between a general flea market and an old renaissance fair, with people dressed up in a wide variety of old and new fashions. Children ran around with sugary sweets, a large number of adults crowding various beer and wine stands, general organised chaos. Still, a nice break from running around.

 “Man, haven’t been to one of these since…well, since mum.”

 Ryan lamented, before feeling Graham gently pat him on the back a few times.

 “Me and ya nan used to come here too. But come on, son, let’s go have a good time. For them, eh?”

 As the two began to walk towards the fair, Yaz absentmindedly followed for a moment before realising she was alone. Turning back, she called out, gesturing forwards.

 “Doctor? You coming? Or are you going to stand around like a statue?”

 Taken out of her stupor, the Doctor jumped up again and quickly came over, tucking locks of hair behind her ear and half burying her face into her rainbow scarf. It wasn’t like her to be so sheepish. Absentminded and spacey, yes, but not sheepish. With a smile on her face Yaz grabbed hold of the Time Lord’s hand and pulled her along. For once, with no danger looming, she could enjoy the feeling. Catching up to the boys was easy, they were lingering around one of the ticket booths. Upon approach, Ryan turned around and waved four tickets in the air. Yaz felt her hand being squeezed a little tighter.

 “Come on, slow pokes. I thought you’d be well in here by now.”

 Graham was busy reading one of the pamphlets that came with the tickets, taking a look at all that was on offer. There wasn’t much, really, but it was still nice. And it made him feel happy. Tucking it into his coat pocket, he wandered back over to the now in-tact group. The Doctor was still humming with excitement judging by her expression, and it looked like a question of how long it would be before Yaz would lose her arm.

 “Sorry ‘bout that. Don’t really know what happened. Guess I just kinda zoned out for a minute. So many things to look at and smell and feel, it’s exciting. Are you lot as excited as me, or am I being weird again?”

 The trio of companions smiled, and laughed. They were all somewhat used to the Time Lord’s erratic behaviour by now. Secretly, they hoped she would actually sleep for once or at least be less bouncy for a while. As the Doctor looked on in confusion, her attention was quickly diverted back to all of the wonderful things around her. It was taking a lot of restraint not to be the one to dive into the experience. She gently squeezed her companion’s hand again and Yaz took it as a sign to get moving.

 “Come on then, if we stay here any longer there’ll be too many people around to get anything done.”

 Ryan handed the tickets out between the others, letting Graham hold onto his in case it fell out of his pocket or got lost somehow. All four of them strode into the fair together and attempted to duck and weave past the many children running around. It didn’t take long before the Doctor had set her eyes on something she really wanted to do.

“YAZ! Yaz, look. They’ve got apple bobbing here too! Come on!”

 Without any chance to retort, save for a yelp, Yaz frantically waved goodbye to the boys as the Time Lord sped off into the distance.

 “We’ll catch you pair later!”

 Graham shouted out, barely making out an exasperated ‘okay’ before turning to Ryan and chuckling. None of them had even seen barrels of apples or whatever. Shrugging his shoulders, Ryan looked around the market stalls before spotting what he assumed was a food court. It had only been a few hours since breakfast, but the smell of fair food was calling to him. Digging around in his pockets, the young man pulled out his wallet with a cheeky grin.

 “Wanna go grab some early lunch. I’m starving. Oh, and you’re coming in on a bet with me.”

 Graham quirked an eyebrow, following his grandson through the stalls.

 “Oh ey, and what bet is that?”

 “I bet you a tenner that the Doc and Yaz end up doing something couple-y together.”

 The older man stopped in his tracks, not entirely sure what to make of the bet being placed on the table. More to the point, it was way too on the nose.

 “Ryan, you can’t go making bets like that! They’re our friends.”

 “What? You can’t tell me you haven’t noticed those two being all weird around each other. If you honestly think that ain’t gonna happen then you’ve got nothing to lose.”

 The two men settled the bet with a handshake. Ryan was smirking to himself, clearly confident about the bet. No way was he going to lose. Graham, on the other hand, was finding himself wishing he had just kept his mouth shut. Hopefully, his money was safe. More to the point, hopefully Yaz was going to survive the day.

 Yaz had lost track of events. A few minutes ago, she was with the boys. Now she was looking at a very smug Doctor, with slightly damp hair, brandishing an apple between her teeth. The guy running the game seemed to be speechless as well, having not said a word to either of them. Just watching. Eventually he managed to blink and offered a smile before inviting a group of children to have a go as well. The Doctor dropped the apple into a waiting hand, shaking her head a little as a drop of water landed on her nose.

 “There was more water in there than I expected. But still, check me and my skills out! Apple?”

 The small green apple was offered out to her, very tiny indentations piercing the skin from where the Time Lord had grasped it. Yaz’s mouth fell open slightly, gaze shifting between the fruit and very expectant hazel-green eyes. The young woman quickly weighed up her options; on one hand the apple had been in the Doctor’s mouth and that made her feel all kinds of conflicted, but on the other she knew it would be devastating to say no to her. Slowly, she took hold of the apple, offering her best smile despite feeling very warm suddenly.

 “Um, thanks Doctor.”

 Apparently the Doctor didn’t notice any of her internal panic and instead flashed a wide grin before resting her hands on her hips and continuing to look around. Now that that was out of the way, it was time to find something new to do. But with so much choice, it was hard to make a decision. The Time Lord then thought of a new idea, taking hold of Yaz’s free hand and swinging her arm slightly.

 “No problem! So, seeing as I may have kind of run off without even asking, what do you wanna do Yaz? It’s only fair. I mean, I’m up for anything.”

 Yaz still had no idea what she was going to do with the apple, but at least the question took her mind off things. She looked around the fair. There was one thing she absolutely wanted to do, but it was probably best to leave it for later on. The market stalls seemed relatively quiet and she had wanted to get her parents something as a kind of ‘sorry I keep vanishing on you’ gift. With so many different things, it would take a while to get around too.

 “How about just, looking at all the stalls. I should probably get mom and dad something, pretend it’s a souvenir. And there’s a lot of old clothing stalls if that takes your fancy.”

 Letting go of the young woman’s hand, the Doctor nodded and took a step forward.

 “Oh, I love a little shop. Or, well, market. I could get a new jacket! Not that I don’t love my coat, I really love this coat, but I used to wear a lot of jackets and I kinda miss them. I wonder if I still look good in them?”

 Memories of a tattered and burnt suit quickly came to the young woman’s mind at the mention of a jacket. Hastily, they were dismissed. The pair began their walk towards the stalls, and Yaz was shocked that the Time Lord was keeping an even pace. She didn’t speed off, and kept looking to the side to make sure she was still there. Although her attention was still all over the place. Just before the stalls, there was a pause.

 “You can eat the apple you know, Yaz. I’m almost one hundred percent sure it’s not poisoned. Wait, hold that thought.”

 Yaz felt her hand, which held the apple, being lifted up whilst the Doctor used her free hand to search around in her pockets. Within seconds the sonic screwdriver was buzzing away, flashing yellow, before being returned to its place.

 “Yep. Totally safe. No worries.”

  Their shared contact lingered for some time before the Time Lord turned and darted towards the first stall. Yaz looked down at the apple, quashed down her stupid feelings and took a bite. It was sour, much more so than she expected, but in a good way. She quickly ran over to the Doctor’s side, now more concerned about if she decided to bolt.

The first few stalls were mostly made up with general knick-knacks; little statues, decorative plates, books, whatever the owners could fill the space with. There were a few instances where the Doctor would let out approving exclamations, picking things up and looking them over before quickly moving on. By this time, Yaz had eaten her way through the apple and had broken away for a moment to throw the core away. Turning around, it took a moment to find where exactly her friend had gone, and she felt her heart stop.

 “Yaz! Over here!”

 The Doctor rose up from several stands away, waving frantically. When Yaz came over, she noticed that both arms were suddenly behind her back. Accompanied by rocking on the balls of her feet, something was clearly up. The young woman narrowed her eyes, now even more confused as the Time Lord looked away.

 “I found something. At this stall. And I know we haven’t been here very long yet and I haven’t exactly been the best person to hang around with, sorry for that, I just wanted to…”

 Her voice trailed off for a moment, finally finding the courage to look back at her companion. The Doctor twisted her arms back to the front, palms facing out and holding a small necklace. Made from gold metal, there was a star shaped charm at the front.

 “The last time I sent you lot home, Graham gave me this weird piece of plastic paper. Told me not to spend it on sugar. Not like I would! Okay maybe the thought of biscuits did cross my mind. Anyway, I kept hold of it, and found it again today. And I saw this, and I know how much you like space and-”

 Yaz tugged at the Time Lord’s coat, pulling her away from the stand into a less crowded area. She looked down at the necklace, and back up to the Doctor.

 “You got me…a gift?”

 “Yeah. That’s okay, isn’t it? Like, I haven’t done anything wrong have I?”

 The young woman placed both her hands underneath the Doctor’s own, gently cupping them together to keep the necklace in place. She watched the blonde sink her face into the woollen scarf again, shoulders rising so it covered her nose. Yaz saw her face bunching up, and smiled.

 “No, you haven’t done anything wrong. Quite the opposite, actually. I don’t think thank you can do it justice. It’s beautiful.”

 ‘Not as beautiful as you, Yaz.’

  Yaz let go of the Doctor’s hands, watching her eyes light up as her face came out from under the scarf. Taking the necklace between her fingers, the Time Lord gestured for her to turn around. As the young woman lifted her hair away from her neck, she felt warm fingers brush past as the necklace was clipped into place. Fingers instinctively reached up to twist and stroke at the metal star. Yaz turned around, still smiling. It felt like about time for her to give something back. She wrapped her arms gently around the Doctor’s body, pulling her into a hug. Ever so slightly, she squeezed, feeling arms coming around to envelope her in kind.

 “Come on, there’s something I want to show you. I think you’ll like it a lot.”

 Feeling herself being let go, Yaz took a step back holding out a bent arm. The Doctor gladly looped one of hers through the gap, beaming down at her. The two wandered away from the many markets, although there was a necessary pause a one of the clothing stalls so the Time Lord could comment on all the fashions. Yaz was amused at how much she knew about Victorian attire. It wasn’t long before the sound of the crowd was drowned away and replaced with a sharp intake of breath.

 

“No…way…You can’t be serious. Are you serious? Because if you are then this is amazing.”

 The Doctor pointed to the sign, eyes wide. Yaz just smiled and shook her head,

 “Yeah. You wanna go have a look?”

 With a sudden gasp, Yaz felt herself being dragged forward into the circle of small pens, increasingly glad that she was holding on to the Time Lord. It didn’t take long before they were both crouched down, the Doctor pointing towards a family of white ducks with amazement. Breaking free, regrettably, the young woman rose back up and headed away.

 “Stay there, I’m just going to go get some feed from the man over here.”

 The Doctor stated still, for a moment, before checking her surroundings. Yaz was out of her field of view, which meant she was on her own. She stood up and slowly lifted the holding bar away from the gate and slid between it and the fence. Lowering back down, the Time Lord carefully made her way over to the fowls, holding out one of her hands.

 By the time Yaz came back, almost dropping the bag of feed, the Doctor was sat on the ground surrounded by the ducks.

 “Yaz! Good timing, these poor girls are really hungry. Or at least that’s what they told me. I say they, meet the extended fam; Gertrude, Penelope, Felicity, Margaret and…Florence. Extended fam, meet Yaz!”

 All five ducks gave a loud quack.

 “Come on in, they won’t bite. I asked them not to. Very polite ladies.”

 Making her way past the gate, Yaz sat down besides the Doctor and handed her the large back of feed pellets. She watched in amazement as the ducks ate out of the palm of the Time Lord’s hand, finishing the handful of food off in seconds.

 “Wait. You can understand them? They just sound like ducks to me.”

 The Doctor took a larger fistful of feed into her hands, shrugging her shoulder.

 “Dunno. I think the TARDIS is having a bit of trouble translating. I can only just about make out what they’re saying. Plus, the old girl is a bit far away and doesn’t really like it when I try and talk to animals much. No idea why, but that’s just her.”

 Having had quite a large share of the feed, the ducks happily waddled off for a stretch and preen. The Doctor helped Yaz back up, wiping her hands down the sides of her coat. The ducks had been very good not to dribble, although her fingers were covered in pellet dust.

 “Bye ladies! Lovely meeting you all!”

 As the pair exited the pen, two of the ducks gave another quack before sitting down on the dry grass. The next hour was spent going around the other pens, Yaz deciding to leave the feed bag with the Doctor. Goats, pigs, rabbits, hens and a calf soon became very quick friends for the excited Time Lord. She named all of them, stroked and petted them, before letting them feed from her hands. Every now and again, Yaz would silently pull out her phone and stealthily take a photograph. She was going to have a lot of fun showing them off to Ryan and Graham when they met up later.

 The afternoon sky slowly began to darken, Yaz and the Doctor found the boys hanging out near a fire pit. They were sharing a large bundle of chips, sat together on a long bench, another bundle tucked down by Ryan’s side. Graham was the first to spot the others, waving them over and pointing over to his grandson with a smile.

 “There you are, we thought we’d lost you. Got you a snack though, if you want it.”

 Rubbing her hands together and lingering by the fire, the Doctor sighed as she sat down besides Graham, patting the spot next to her. Yaz wandered behind the bench, picking up the second bag of chips as she sat down besides the Time Lord. As she opened the paper bag and passed it over, she could feel  Ryan staring at her. Eyes travelling down, she noticed the necklace was sparkling in the light of the fire and her heart leapt into her throat.

 “Hey Yaz, I swear that you weren’t wearing a necklace this morning. It’s nice though.”

 Before Yaz could stammer out a response, the Doctor proudly puffed out her chest. Swallowing her mouthful of chips, she interjected.

 “Ten points to Ryan for observation. He’s got a good eye. I got it from one of the market stalls, from a very nice young man. I think he tried to charm me, said it would go nice with my eyes. But I told him it wasn’t for me. Said it was for the lovely Yaz. Kind of gave me a funny look then, but yeah, isn’t it great?”

 Two pairs of eyes burnt into her skin, and Yaz could feel herself slowly shrinking into herself. She took a handful of chips just to silence the groan. Graham quirked an eyebrow before a sharp elbow knocked into his side.

 “Gramps. I think you owe me a tenner.”

Chapter Text

After having a spent a ridiculous amount of time in a charity store, Ryan decided it was probably a good idea to head back home and see how Graham was doing. He pair were still reeling over what had happened to Grace, and even not seeing eye to eye hardly, the young man did feel bad about leaving.

 “Hey, Yaz, I’m gonna head off now. If that’s cool. Pretty sure you’ll be in safe hands. Lemme know when you’re done though, yeah?”

 With a smile and a nod, Yaz urged her friend off. Even without it being mentioned, she knew why he was leaving. Her arm was weighed down by a bag containing the…slightly cindered remains of a man’s suit. Despite being fully outfitted now, and having tried on the whole store, the Doctor was still lingering around one of the clothing rails.

 “Doctor, you coming? Pretty sure there’s nothing left in here for you now.”

 The excitable blonde bounced her head up, mouth settling into an ‘oh’ shape, before dropping the shirt she was holding and skipping over. Although her initial reaction had been one of shock, Yaz had to admit that the Doctor’s choice of clothes did suit her. It was very neutral and practical. Much like how the strange alien woman appeared herself.

 “Right. Sorry Yaz.”

 As the two exited the store, much to the relief of the attendants, the Doctor gently tapped on the shoulder of her new friend. Yaz turned her head, noticing that the blonde had scrunched her face up a little bit.

 “Question. Okay, more of a request really. I really like all those…uhm…you know, those metal things. In your ears. What are they called again?”

 The young woman lifted her free hand to one of her ears, rolling her thumb over the lobe before clocking on to what was being asked.

 “What, you mean my piercings?”

 The Doctor clapped her hands, nodding furiously.

 “YES! That’s it. Those. They’re really pretty. And I think that, now I’m a woman and all which I still can’t wrap my head around, that I should get some of those too! What I wanted to ask was, would you take me somewhere to get it done? Maybe? If it’s no trouble or anything.”

 Okay, the Doctor really was strange. Although in a sort of charming and endearing way. Yaz shuffled on the spot, checking her pockets again for her purse. She had already bought all the items that the Doctor was wearing, purely because she was the one who had told her to get new clothes in the first place. After a few seconds of checking the various compartments, the young woman smiled in response.

 “I don’t see why not. I mean, there’s a place just down the road where I got all mine done. Should be pretty quiet there too. Although this is the last thing you’re getting from me, alright?”

  She hoped the last part came out friendly, but it seemed as if the Doctor didn’t really care about any of that. She was just smiling like a child who had been told they could go get ice cream before dinner. Yaz jostled the bag around on her arm before heading off in the direction of the store. It was only a few minutes away, and it was in the direction of Graham’s house. Her eyes drifted back to the Doctor, who was still smiling as she followed a few steps behind her. Pulling out her phone, Yaz began typing a small message to send to Ryan.

 ‘Might be back a bit later than planned. Gonna be spending more money. Don’t ask.’

 With a small ring, the message was sent and Yaz could bring her attention back to the task at hand. She stopped outside the door of the shop, feeling the Doctor brush past her with a mumbled apology.

 “This is the place. You sure you want this done? It hurts a bit, and you haven’t exactly rested since…”

 Images of Grace’s funeral burnt into her mind, making her shudder. The Doctor seemed to notice her apprehension, face and smile softening. The blonde appeared much more human in that moment.

 “I’m sure it will be fine. Regeneration energy is still buzzing around, fixing things, you know? Can’t be that bad. Actually kind of exciting. Never done this before. Only ever changed my wardrobe, never…never modified myself. Except for glasses. That was fun.”

 As the Doctor rambled on again, sounding a little tired, Yaz pushed open the door of the shop and allowed the blonde to talk around her. The store itself was a combination tattoo and piercing salon, minimally decorated in a vintage style. The front desk was occupied by a woman who looked like she had just walked right out of the 50’s; curled brown hair, rockabilly dress, bright red lipstick. A young man sat near an unoccupied chair,  working away on his tattoo gun. Quickly checking to make sure the Doctor stayed close, Yaz walked up to the counter and lightly tapped on the surface.

 “Hey Anna. Back again. Not for me this time though, for my friend. You don’t happen to have anyone available now, do you?”

 The brunette lifted her head up from her papers, taking one look at Yaz before looking over to the blonde. She had never seen her regular customer bring someone else with her, ever. It was rather surprising, especially as her ‘friend’ looked a little bit older than her. Sliding over a couple of forms, and a pen, she pointed over towards a red leather sofa.

 “Hey Yaz. I think Mel is still here. Just get your…friend, to fill out the usual forms. I’ll call her over.”

 Yaz took the pieces of paper in her hand before gesturing for the Doctor to take a seat on the sofa. Once she had moved, she took her place besides her and handed the paper and pen over. The Doctor looked down at them, confused, before looking back up to Yaz.

 “What’s with the papers?”

  Rolling her eyes, Yaz took the pen back and pointed at each area individually, explaining what they all meant. The boxes were for her details, although it occurred to her that she would have to make most of it up. After all, she had no idea if the Doctor would put down anything sensible or not. Pointing to the diagram on the side, the young woman ran through the list of options for ear piercing.

 “Just tell me which one you want, although considering it’s your first one I’d just go with the lobe, and I’ll do the rest. Unless you just happen to have some kind of ID with you.”

 The Doctor patted her pockets, finding nothing but her newly build sonic screwdriver. She huffed, and apologised. Yaz quickly filled out the form, hoping that nobody would notice that it was in her handwriting. The blonde may have appeared perfectly capable of doing the paperwork herself, but it was too much of a risk.

 

‘Jane Smith. 32. Female. Lobe, left.’

 

As Anna came back, Yaz thrust the paperwork into the Doctor’s lap, resting her hands in her own. The blonde looked down at the papers, reading through all the very odd terms and conditions. Before she could interject about what her new friend had written down, the papers were taken away.

 “Hmm. Everything looks good. Go on through to Mel. This one of your colleagues Yaz? Don’t normally see you hanging around with someone…more mature.”

 As the two were escorted into the piercing room, Yaz watched the Doctor’s face scrunch up again as she leant into her ear.

 “Yaz, what did she mean? I don’t get it.”

 “Don’t mind Anna. Honestly I think she just means that you’re older than me. Like the people from work. Not that much though, I think.”

 With a perplexed hum, the Doctor found her attention quickly shifting to the woman sitting on the stool in front of her. She had bright blue hair, possibly a dozen piercings in various places, and a rather odd assortment of clothes. Made her feel better about her own choices. Yaz pointed to the black bench opposite.

 “Sit yourself on there. I’ll be outside. Don’t worry, Mel did most of my work. You’ll be safe with her.”

 Without a word, the Doctor sat herself down on the bench, watching her new friend walk through the doors again. This was the first time she had found herself alone since, well, since the TARDIS kicked her out. Feet dangled, barely scraping the floor as brown boots clattered against the metal legs of the bench. A weird mix of nervousness and fear danced around her stomach, made worse by the lingering tingles of the regeneration.

 She heard the sound of rubber gloves being snapped. Saw a very imposing needle. Eyes quickly darted to the floor, not really wanting to see what was going on despite being very curious about the process. The blue haired woman muttered to herself, tapping against the metal countertop.

 “Right. Jane. Form says you only want the one side done. Mind shifting your hair out of the way so I can get to your ear?”

It took a moment for the blonde to realise it was her being spoken to, jolting slightly with a nervous smile. Wordlessly shifting a mass of blonde hair behind her ear, she turned her head to the side. From outside the doors, Yaz sat on her hands and waited. She was a little worried by the fact the Doctor was giving no response to the question. Normally she would be rabbiting on about anything and everything. It was unnerving. But, the young woman trusted the piercer. She would soon know if there was any trouble.

 “Okay, thanks. Just going to put a little dot on your ear. Look in the mirror and let me know if it’s in the right place.”

 The Doctor felt the cold tip of a pen gently pressing against her earlobe. It tickled. Hazel-green eyes just caught sight of the woman moving away and took it as a signal to turn around. She looked in the mirror, still as confused as ever. She had no idea if it was in the right place or not, and her first instinct was to go and ask Yaz. But she also knew she couldn’t move.

 “Um…Yeah, that looks good. I think. Sorry, not really sure, but if you say it’s right then that’s fine with me.”

 After being ushered to turn her head back around, the Doctor heard the sound of the needle again. Instinctively, her body tensed up.

 “You’ll feel a sting, for like a second, then I’ll pop a bar in. Do you want to choose one?”

 “I guess a gold one? Again, I’m not too sure really.”

 Nothing happened for a moment, before a sharp point was touched to the centre of her earlobe.

 “Okay? You’ll be fine.”

 Sharp pain ran from the side of her skull and down her spine, causing the Doctor to ball her fists up into the sides of her coat. Sudden breath was pulled through clenched teeth and made a hissing sound.

 “Owwwww”

 Yaz reflectively found herself rising off the chair outside but soon sat down again. She remembered her first piercing, both lobes as a teenager. Her mom had to sign the paperwork because she was just a few days too young. The needle had really hurt and tears had rolled down her face. Over the years though she had just added more and more, finding the sharp pain exhilarating.

 Within moments a gold bar had been threaded through the new hole, cooling disinfectant cleaning away tiny spots of blood.

 “There. All good. Told you it wasn’t so bad.”

 Wincing a little, the blonde turned back around and looked in the mirror. Sure enough she could see the little circle of gold surrounded by sore pale flesh. A small packet was placed in her lap.

“You’ll find the care guide in there. Tells you how to make sure you don’t get an infection. Put a little bottle of tea tree oil in there too, and a voucher so you get a second bar with a discount. Go and show Yaz, show her I can do other people besides her.”

 

“YAZ!”

 The young woman rose up from her seat with just enough time to spare before the blonde collided into her with a silent huff. She turned around, repeatedly pointing at her new piercing.

 “Look how pretty it is! It’s all shiny and oh I just had the best idea ever but it means going back to that warehouse so I can get some things.”

 Mel poked her head out from behind the doors, poking her tongue out with a smile. Yaz responded in kind, before taking her purse out of her pocket. She handed a twenty pound note over to the Doctor before pointing over to Anna.

 “Before we even do anything, go give this to Anna.”

 As the blonde bounded away with her money, Yaz took out her phone and looked at the screen.

 ‘Alright, I won’t. As long as u don’t go runnin off with ur new best mate. Just be back in time 4 tea. Graham’s fallin asleep.’

 ‘SORRY RYAN! Promise we will be back soon :(’

 The journey back to the warehouse from a few nights ago didn’t take as long as Yaz remembered. Either that or she had spaced out at some point. She watched the Doctor hurry on inside, disappearing behind the plastic curtains before zaps of the sonic screwdriver filled the air. The young woman had no idea what was going on, just did what she was asked and waited. Waited for almost twenty minutes. As a few muffled oh’s and ah’s came from the other side, as well as sparks, the Doctor returned with a huge grin on her face.

 “Check it out, Yaz! What do you think?”

 Yaz squinted in the low light, wondering what she was even meant to be looking at. Taking a few steps forward, she watched the blonde lift her hand to point at her ear. Soon enough, brown eyes clocked on to what was different. Instead of the small gold bar, there was a new piercing.

 “Doctor, did you just make that? More to the point you shouldn’t be putting something new in, you’ll cause all kinds of damage.”

 Rocking back and forth on her heels, the blonde shook her head.

 “Nope! Regeneration energy soon fixed it up. Kind of worried it would have just gotten rid of the whole thing but here we are. And yeah, isn’t it great? Still little bits lying around from when I made me sonic, just threw them all together and made this.”

 Taking a few more steps closer, closing the distance to as much as she could bear, Yaz circled around to the Doctor’s side and inspected the new edition.

The bar had been replaced with what looked like another gold piercing. Two hands, maybe? It was hard to tell. A short silver chain dangled between it and an astonishingly pretty silver cuff. It was in the shape of a cluster of stars and balanced precariously on the top of the Doctor’s ear. How on earth such a dainty little thing had been made in such a short space of time was a mystery.

 “Come on, let’s go back to Graham and Ryan. Show them my cool new look. I mean Ryan saw it anyway but you know.”

 Yaz took a step back, still in utter disbelief. The blonde was insane. But in the nicest of ways. Clinging onto the bag of clothes, the young woman laughed quietly to herself as the pair walked back out into the cooling evening. Getting back to the house was a little more tedious, with rush hour traffic causing moments of chaos on the roads. Yaz was very close to smacking the horn a few times but kept her cool. Knowing her luck, the second she did that then the blonde would want to have a go too.

 

Ryan was waiting outside, having received a message prior about the two returning back. He had no idea what had happened since he left but was in no real mood to go and question either of them.

 “Alright. Come on in before Graham nods off again.”

 The Doctor happily bounded inside, rounding the corner to the lounge. She was about to call out, but just noticed that the older man was resting on the sofa with his eyes closed. With a smile on her face, she quietly went around to the dining table and sat on one of the wooden chairs. Yaz lingered in the hallway with her friend, dropping the bag of clothes near the stairs.

 “So, where you been hiding these last few hours?”

 “I’m pretty sure you’ll find out soon enough. Come on, I could really do with a sit down after today.”

 Yaz sat down on one of the chairs opposite the Doctor, while Ryan gently tapped at Graham’s shoulder. The older man jumped, eyes opening wide before he breathed a sigh of relief. He could feel his heart going ten to the dozen in his chest.

 “Blimey Ryan, way to give me a heart attack. Oh, alright Doc. Yaz. When did you two get back?”

 As Ryan took his place on the empty side of the sofa, the room fell silent for a moment as Graham realised something had changed.

 “Oh, you got a new wardrobe I see. It’s certainly…eclectic. What’s that dangling from your ear there?”

 The Doctor bounced up and down on the chair with a grin. Yaz couldn’t help but smile in response. She was clearly excited to go on about what had happened.

    “Oh, Graham, it was great. Ryan and Yaz took me to a nice little clothes shop. Tried the whole lot on. Ended up with this. I think it’s brilliant. Full of pockets. I love pockets. But then I asked Yaz if she should take me to get my ear done like hers. I mean, women wear jewellery so why not. It hurt. Still does a bit. But I didn’t really like the weird little bar thing so we went back to the warehouse and I made this from the bits I didn’t use in me sonic. Whadya think?”

 Ryan gave a short nod and quirk of his eyebrows, coupled with a thumbs up. Graham took a little longer to respond, still feeling a bit too tired, but agreed that it did indeed look nice. He let out a long yawn, stretching his arms and slowly getting up off the sofa.

 “Right, if you don’t mind I’m gonna head off. You lot…can do whatever. Doc, you’re more than welcome to have the sofa again. Grace’d want me to keep an eye  on you, I think.”

 “Thanks Graham, really appreciate it. Don’t think I’ll be staying too much longer though. Maybe only tonight. Really need to get back to finding my TARDIS. I know she’s out there somewhere. Just need to figure out how to get to her really. Probably can just use all that alien tech to cobble something together. Goodnight.”

 The trio stayed up a little longer, talking about the events that had transpired between them. Ryan attempted to question the Doctor a little more, but she was very reluctant to answer and just changed the subject. As the topic turned towards what her spaceship even was, the young man let out a stifled yawn before excusing himself. Leaving just Yaz and the Doctor.

 “See ya Yaz. Doc, once she’s gone just lock the door yeah?”

 The Doctor nodded and waved him off while Yaz looked at the clock on the wall. It had just gone past ten, meaning that her parents would have started wondering where she had run off to. Last thing she’d told them was that she was staying with a colleague whilst working on a very important new case. Her mom had congratulated her on the evident promotion, warning her again to keep safe. And yet here she was, having fought off alien invaders and sitting with the most bizarre one of them all.

 Looking back at the Doctor, Yaz rose from the chair and quietly pushed it under the table before walking over to her.

 “Listen, I need to head back home. Before mom and dad wonder what’s happened. Barely saw them before the funeral. Need to get my bearings. You won’t…you won’t leave without us, right? I mean, until we say goodbye I mean.”

 With soft eyes and a kind smile, the Doctor stood up from the chair, placing a hand on her shoulder.

 “Yasmin Khan, I wouldn’t dream of it. Besides, I’m gonna need the help of all of you I think. Now go on home. I’ll get Ryan to give you a call when…when I’m ready to go.”

 The two held a gaze for a moment, before Yaz broke off and headed for the door. With a final hushed goodnight, she left. Leaving the Doctor to stare blankly into the room. Taking the generously donated sheet off the back of the sofa, she left her boots on the floor and threw her coat onto a chair. Tomorrow, she would go. But she was comforted by the knowledge that she had made some pretty good friends. The TARDIS would be proud. If she wasn’t still angry with her.

Chapter Text

Star Gazing

 

“Do you think…you could show me the stars?”

 “Yasmin Khan, I will show you whatever stars you desire.”


She had made the request over a week ago now, with very little time for her wish to be made reality. However, the Doctor had turned off as many alarm systems as she could find and had purposefully dropped Ryan and Graham home for the evening. Of course, to them, Yaz was going to be sent home too. But that was far from the truth. She had set a date with the Time Lord. What she assumed was a date. Nothing had officially been said about the matter, although considering how close she had gotten with the blonde, there was little doubt in her mind.

 The request had been left vague on purpose, something simple that the Doctor would have no trouble spinning into her own design. Yaz had seen many stars, across countless galaxies and from the surface of endless planets, and yet there was still the undeniable ache for more. Her bold admission of wanting more of the universe, and by extension the Time Lord herself, was no fabrication. Despite her initial confusion, coldness and dismissal of the blonde, their relationship had come on leaps and bounds.

 For all her pondering, Yaz came to understand the hardships presented before her. Despite appearances, which were terribly deceiving, the Doctor was a sizable number of centuries older than her. She had seen more, loved more, lost more, in her own words. Words that engaged her wandering mind many times. With such age and a vast wealth of knowledge, the stickling needles of anxiety still probed her.

 

What did the Doctor see in her?

How many of those had come before?

What became of them?

 

All questions for another time. For now, Yaz simply wanted time with the Doctor. Her Doctor. The one she had secretly grown to love. Secret enough that no accusations had come her way from her friends, although their increasing amount of shared gazes and wordless exchanges had more than likely given her away. A humble fascination that sparked a crush that burned through her body and soul like a supernova. Forever set ablaze by the enigmatic beauty that was the Time Lord.

 Having finally decided upon what to wear, despite fragrant fear of disapproval, Yaz headed out from her bedroom. With a little encouragement from the TARDIS, she had found herself in a light and flowing outfit; a loose navy dress shirt, speckled with silver dots and tiny gems, coupled together with her standard denim jeans. Bordering between fancy and causal, yet undeniably comfortable, Yaz was happy with her choice. After overhearing a passing comment about a previous style, she had also decided to wear her hair down in her usual, light curls.

 Wandering the hallways of the sentient space and time ship had become second nature to her, even on the days where the TARDIS decided to mess with them. There was always a pattern she followed, one which Yaz had memorized. As the central console came into view, she found herself pausing. Heart leaping into her throat. Doubt seeping in. Before she could contemplate the cause of the sudden anxiety, she felt a hand rest against her shoulder.

 

“I like your outfit. Very fitting. To the occasion, I mean.”

 

Yaz found herself smiling at the response, turning around to meet the Doctor’s gaze. Her words, and mind, momentarily failed her as she took in the sight before her. Dressed up in a form-fitting suit, hands in blazer pockets, the Time Lord looked back at her with the softest smile she had seen to date. Her hair was slightly ruffled, tucked behind her ear to show off the beautifully crafted piercing Yaz had always been fond of. The suit itself matched the TARDIS to a tee, topped off with a dusty lilac shirt, collar open. As the Doctor quirked an eyebrow at her, only then did she realise she had been staring for much too long.

 “I…thanks. You…wow.”

 Before she could curse herself for the lack of filter on her words, Yaz felt the hand around her shoulder squeeze gently. The Doctor’s gaze turned to the wall, falling into the throws of embarrassment. Having never seen such a look on the Time Lord before, it made her choice of words less appalling. Ears picked up on the murmurs of a ‘thank you’, before she was lead towards the console.

 “So, I’ve carefully plotted out the spots for star gazing. Three of them in fact. You can either pick a number, and I’ll take you there, or we can go chronologically. And yes, contrary to popular belief, I can do things in order.”

 Yaz found herself laughing quietly as the Doctor pulled away from her, pale fingers travelling a calculate path across various buttons and dials. She always looked caught between a dance of knowing what she was doing, and making everything up as she went along. Considering that the TARDIS was telepathic, she often wondered how much of the flight manoeuvres were controlled by the Doctor herself. Yaz made her way up the doublet of small steps, eyes following the Time Lord as she rounded the central column and stopped in front of her.

 “I’ll let you do things your way. Hardly seems fun to mess up one of your brilliant schemes.”

 Resting her hands on her hips, The Doctor spoke back with mock offense.

 “I do not scheme. Scheming is just planning without the details being mentioned, anyway. I like to think of this more as calculated spontaneity.”

 With a flash of a grin, she was back at the console, hand hovering over the ‘main lever’ as it was affectionally called by Ryan.

 

“Shall we?”

 

Taking her place besides the Time Lord, Yaz brought one of her hands on top of the Doctor’s own, looking over at her with childish glee. The excitement set in as the lever was pushed down, the TARDIS wheezing and purring into life. Purely out of habit, Yaz found herself gripping onto one of the bars underneath the console. After a few moments, the ship fell silent again, doors opening to the outside world.

 The Doctor held out her arms, gesturing for her to go towards the door. Eager to oblige, Yaz skipped down to where the cool air calmed her active mind. For a moment, she was confused at the location. The TARDIS had landed on a hill, covered in fine grass, overlooking nothing in particular. She stepped out of the doors, realisation soon dawning. Eyes travelled skyward. A long gasp escaped her lips as she traced the countless patterns in the sky.

 “This is amazing.”

 Stars. So many stars. So many different patterns she assumed to be constellations. And no obstructions anywhere in sight. Just calm, peaceful nature. Faint, colourful trails of a nebula broke up the darkness, head soon turning back to see the Doctor leaning against the door frame. With the orange glow of the TARDIS surrounding her, she looked ethereal. Eyes alight with wonder and joy, a wide smile on her face as the Time Lord did nothing but remain silent.

 “Doctor…where are we?”

 At the mention of her name, she came closer, resting her hands inside her trouser pockets and rocking on her heels.

 “Earth. Long before you humans evolved. This is what your sky looked like billions of years ago. No light pollution, no pollution of any kind really. Just good old, natural, Earth.”

 Awestruck, Yaz found herself unable to look at the Doctor for long, eyes soon drifting skywards once again.

 “Oh, right, stay here Yaz. I’ll be back in a second.”

 

With a flap of the coattails of her blazer, the Doctor hurried back inside the TARDIS. A few seconds later, she returned, blanket draped over one shoulder and hands busy with a pale glass bottle. The large sheet of red fabric was thrown across the grass, corners smoothed down, before the Time Lord seated herself on the left side. Placing the bottle down between her legs, she patted the other side and made a short whistle.

 Yaz felt her skin prickle as she jumped, finding herself pulled out of an extensive daydream. She turned to look across the blanket and the Time Lord, offering an apologetic smile before sitting down. With legs stretched out, she reclined back on both hands, eying the bottle curiously. Pulling the cork from the top, the Doctor handed the bottle towards her companion.

 “Don’t worry, no alcohol. I know you can’t have any, and I really shouldn’t either. But this right here is…well, just try it. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

Cautiously, Yaz took hold of the bottle. Through the pale glass, she could see a light blue liquid swirling around, picking up speckles from the night sky. The neck was brought up underneath her nose, a strong fruit and floral smell causing her brows to come together and lips to tighten. As much as the smell was enticing, it was much too strong to take in.

 “Oh, that’s…certainly got a kick to it, Doctor. Are you sure this isn’t just perfume or something?”

 “Positive. Just take a sip. It’s perfectly safe for human consumption, promise.”

 

Putting her trust in the Doctor, not that it was an overtly difficult thing to do, Yaz closed her eyes and took a swig from the bottle. As the liquid went down, she could feel her throat warming, the sensation gently flowing through her chest. It felt like alcohol, or, more how she imagined it would be. The taste itself; an array of flavours that she could hardly pinpoint, but certainly related to the smell. As she opened her eyes, Yaz looked at the Doctor, dumbfounded.

 Everything around her suddenly became brighter, more vibrant. The Doctor was clearer than she had ever been, a faint golden glow tracing the outline of her person, her eyes shining.

 “It’s Pluverian Wine. Like I say, no alcohol in it at all, but it’s made in such a way as to enhance the senses. Mostly sight. Jump starts the neuropathways in the optic nerve and the brain. Fab isn’t it? Look at the sky.”

 As the Doctor pointed towards the sky, Yaz faltered. Again. It was too hard to tear her eyes away from the now ethereal looking Time Lord. The more she stared, the more she could see. Impossible wisdom, defined age, more endless possibilities. She was broken free from her daze by a hand against her shoulder, the one once pointing to the stars delicately tilting her chin upwards as the blonde drew closer.

 Eyes turned skyward.

 

“No way…”

 “Yeah.”

 

Ask anyone to paint a picture of the night sky, and you would receive darkness and stars. Ask anyone to paint a picture of space, and you would see a multitude of colours swirled together. To Yaz, the sky had become the best of both worlds. Inky black space was punctuated with swirls of blue, green and purple, the stars pulsating with energy and warmth. The moon was lost in the vastness, merging together like all the other celestial bodies. The hand once on her shoulder began pointing out various constellations. The Doctor recited them all from memory, regaling tales of legends soon to come.

 “Astrology used to mean a lot, back in ancient times. Same with the gods. Everything was there for a reason, and the sky gave birth to facts and science and maths and everything good about humanity. And, I have to say, that star right there?”

 Yaz felt her head being turned to one side.

 “Mira. Part of the Cetus constellation. Won’t be discovered until the almost sixteen hundreds. A pulsating variable star. Latin named. Reminds me a bit of you.”

 Regaining her own mobility, Yaz let her gaze linger back on the Doctor, trying to work out the expression on her face.

 “How come?”

 Under the influence of the wine, it was much easier to see the Time Lord blushing, a pink hue forming across her cheeks and nose as her eyes fell to the wayside.

 “It means…well, why don’t I let you look that up some time. For now, hand me the wine. I want to see the glory of the universe too.”

 Time fell away from the pair of them, along with the remainder of the wine. In the company of the Doctor, Yaz felt supremely at ease. Words flowed freely, forming questions that spanned the nature of the universe and all the wonders that the Time Lord had seen. She hung on every syllable, smiling and laughing, shuffling ever closer. Before long, there was nary any space between them, sides brushing and hands linked together as they fell into a contented silence. Yaz could feel her heart hammering in her chest, fit to burst with the intensity of her adoration and love for the blonde besides her.

 Yaz rolled onto her side, letting go of the Doctor’s hand in order to prop herself up on her elbow. She smiled, idle hand twisting itself into the fabric of her shirt.

 

“So, where to next then? I’m not sure if you can top this.”

 

Flashing a wide grin, sly and suave, the Doctor laughed.

 “Oh, is that a challenge? Right then Yasmin Khan, prepare to be blown away by what’s coming up next. Come on, back in the TARDIS.”

 With a helping hand, she was back on her feet, giggling as the Time lord stumbled over the blanket. Yaz offered to help carry it and the empty bottle back to the TARDIS, but was politely brushed off. With little to do on the short walk through the soft grass, and the effects of the wine quickly fading from her, Yaz quietly called out to the Doctor.

 “Why are you glowing?”

 As the Doctor dropped the blanket down by the coat rack, she paused at the doorway of the TARDIS.

 “Glowing?”

 Hazel-green eyes met Yaz with a mix of confusion and fear.

 

“You have this…golden glow around you. It’s all sparkly, and it shimmers when you move. Like, it’s part of you, but also not. Is it something from the wine?”

 “That…you weren’t there when I…so you shouldn’t be able to…how can you…I shouldn’t be…”

 

Words trailed off into a whisper as the Doctor turned tail and began occupying herself with the TARDIS controls. With the last remnants of the wine in her system, Yaz took a final look at the night sky. She would never see anything quite so beautiful about her home again, which was both magical and deflating. However, her attention quickly returned to the Time Lord as the doors silently closed behind her. The only glow around her now, was that produced from the warm lights of the TARDIS herself. Whatever she had seen, it was enough to distress and distract.

 Pushing the thought aside, promising to go back to it at a later date, Yaz made her way over to the Doctor and placed a hand on her shoulder. She felt the tense muscles relax under her touch.

 “Next up, destination number two. Hold on to your expectations, as they may be blown out of the water. I hope. Not literally. But. Anyway. Hold on.”

 The journey through the time vortex was considerably bumpier than the first, and Yaz found herself braced against one of the warm crystal columns. In contrast, the Doctor was continuing to prance around the console, twisting and turning and seemingly unable to be knocked off balance by the turbulence. With a long drawn whine, the TARDIS came to a stop, filling the room with a contented hum.

 After a few more button presses, the Time Lord seemingly glided from the console, extending a hand out to Yaz. As she took hold, her body was drawn in impossibly close to the Doctor, free hand stroking down through her loose dark curls. For a moment Yaz was almost convinced that they would break out into dance, or something else entirely, but was instead guided back towards the TARDIS doors. She could feel the blonde drop down by her ear, words ghosting into her head.

 

“Go look.”

 

 Yaz parted from the Doctor, slowly going down the few short steps to the doors, looking back for a moment before placing her hands on the doors. With little effort, the TARDIS opened up, revealing the vast expanse of space. She could see Earth, or what looked like it, in all its glory. Still and peaceful, and endlessly breath-taking. Her eyes watched clouds roll over continents, swirling, dancing, before her attention turned to the Time Lord suddenly at our side.

 “Is this Earth?”

 “Yep. Current year. Isn’t it a sight? Very rare a human gets to see it from way out here, thought it would be a treat. But, there’s actually something better.”

 With grace and poise, more than Yaz thought was possible, the Doctor sat down on the threshold of the TARDIS. She held out a hand, urging her companion to do the same. In the forefront of her mind, Yaz was convinced it was unsafe. She knew the TARDIS had some kind of special field around it that could be extended, it had been put to good use when confronted with the Dalek, but she trusted the Doctor with her life. Slowly, she sat down on the cool metal floor, shuffling closer to the vastness of the drop into space, knees pulled up to her chest for safety.

 She was much too cautious to dangle her legs over the edge like the Doctor did, at least for now.

 “Yaz, name a star. Any star. First one that comes to your mind.”

 There was a mysterious sparkle in the Time Lord’s eyes as she spoke, one that made Yaz smile. She searched her mind for stars, thinking back to the books she used to read as a child. It was much harder than it seemed.

 “Orion. That is a star, right? Sorry, I didn’t expect to be put on the spot like this. Why do you need a star?”

 

There it was again. That same, mad smile she had grown to love.

 

“Oh, you’ll see.”

 

The Doctor’s head turned back towards the TARDIS console, a wordless conversation happening between her and the ship. Yaz wrapped her arms around her knees, feeling her body shake as the police box began to move. Eyes focused back on the sights outside, watching as everything shifted further away from her. Earth began to grow smaller, tiny stars flying past in all directions. As the TARDIS stopped, her eyes widened, breath caught in her throat. A cool hand came to rest on her shoulder.

 “Yaz. Say hello to Orion. Well, technically this is Rigel. You can tell because it’s kind of blue-y white. I’ll take you to see Betelgeuse in a second, that’s the red one over there.”

 Keening forward, Yaz let her mouth drop open slightly, unable to process the sight before her. Sure she had seen the stars, the Doctor had taken them to a massive sun for New Years, but this was entirely different. These were the stars she had seen every night since she could remember. The ones she enthusiastically told her parents about on clear nights. The ones she had dreamed about. Nothing could have prepared her for the shock and awe of being close enough to watch them burn.

 The second part of their date was travelling across the stars in the Milky Way. Yaz would ponder and call out whatever one she could, and the TARDIS would take her to them, whilst the Doctor regaled her with tales a-plenty. She knew exactly who discovered them, and when, what myths surrounded them and even offhandedly mentioned naming a few of them. Whether or not the last part was true, Yaz did not care. She slowly unwound from herself, legs dangling over the edge of the faux-wooden box, smiling and laughing and full of wonder. Her body leant to the side, pressed up against the Time Lord as he hung on every word.

 

 “And this last one. This is Mira. Remember looking at it from Earth? Here it is, up close. Beautiful, as its name suggests.”

 “That’s what its name meant?”

 “I…Well…not exactly…”

 

Hazel-green eyes turned to her, Yaz feeling herself pull back as the Doctor’s hand moved from her shoulder to hold one of her own.

 “It means…”

 The Doctor leant closer, a shy smile on her face, posture softening.

 “Wonderful. Astonishing.”

 Yaz felt her mind switch off.

 “Just like you.”

 

Impulse took over. An innate desire, burning inside her, fuelling her movements. Yaz freed her hand, took both of them and buried them deep in the lapels of the Doctor’s blazer. She dragged her closer, felt their hips collide, watched her eyes widen. A knowing smile crossed the young woman’s face as she gazed deep into the endless eyes of the Time Lord.

 “Doctor, would it be possible to…maybe call this date to a close?”

 Confusion became fear as the Doctor’s body tensed.

 “Why? I mean, that’s fine, your decision, but I thought…”

 Yaz tilted her head to one side, raising her eyebrows. Waiting for the penny to drop.

 

 “…Oh.”

 

Their night was spent with stars, but of a different kind.

Chapter Text

"I’m yours, in every way you’ll have me.”

 

One thing had been bothering the Doctor for a considerable amount of time now, something that would not leave her head no matter what. She had tried countless things to remove the thought, to distract herself, but nothing worked. It had become so much of a problem that the TARDIS was giving off waves of concern.

“Look, it’s fine. I can deal with it. I just need more time…right? Then it will go away and everything will be back to normal.”

She knew she was lying to herself. The same thing always happened. Well, almost. Bill had at least been an exception. And Amy, eventually, that one really did thankfully fade away. And Donna, and Martha. So, really, it was only a half problem. But it was still bothering her. Sensing her frustration, the TARDIS tried to talk back, in her way of beeps and whines.

“I know, but I told myself I wouldn’t. We both know that things never end well. And I can’t do it again…it just hurts too much…”

The Doctor sighed, hands on the console as she leant her head down, eyes closed.

“If she says no…what do I do then? I can’t risk it…”

Images tugged in the corners of her mind, and the soothing presence of the TARDIS permeated her soul. There, she could see those she had loved and lost. Rose. River. Idris. Clara. They were there, smiling, filling her hearts with love and warmth. But pain soon took over as the images faded, a tear making its way down her cheek and landing on the glowing console.

 

‘You won’t know unless you try. You deserve to love. And I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Go.’

 

Wiping her eyes on the sleeve of her coat, the Doctor stood up and stroked one hand against the central column of the TARDIS. Her old girl was right. She always was. She loved her too, after all. With a smile on her face, the Time Lord headed down the winding corridors in search of one of her companions. A host of words spun around in her mind, aiming to form sentences, feet guiding her towards the library. As she entered the vast room, there she saw Yaz.

Her companion sat in one of the leather armchairs, book balanced on her knee as she silently read, unaware of the Doctor’s for a few moments until she spoke.

 

“Yaz.”

“Oh. Doctor. Sorry, I didn’t hear you. Are you okay?”

 

Taking a deep breath, the Time Lord crossed the open space between them, coming to crouch down in front of Yaz. She rested a hand on top of the book, gently pushing it down so the pages rested against her thigh. In her mind, it was now or never. And worst case, she could fly the TARDIS back to Sheffield and forget everything that had happened.

“Yeah. Listen, there’s something I want to say…something that scares me to my very core…something I should have said a long time ago.”

With a concerned look on her face, soon softened by a smile, Yaz took both of her hands and placed them atop the Doctor’s own, encouraging her to talk further.

“Yaz. I want to say…that I…”

She paused, words catching in her throat as her face began to feel a million degrees too warm.

“Doctor, whatever it is, you can tell me. I promise.”

With one final hard swallow, the Doctor closed her eyes and continued.

“I…I like you…a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. I would even go as far as saying love. And it really does scare me, and it’s totally fine if you don’t like me back, because I’ll just take you home and we can pretend that none of this ever happened and I didn’t just make a fool of myself by telling a beautiful young woman that I’m in love with her.”

The Doctor tried to get up to move, eyes opening as she felt the hands on her own pressing down, keeping her firmly in place. She stared deep into her companion’s eyes, watching the soft smile grow wider.

“Doctor.”

Yaz moved one hand to rest underneath the Doctor’s chin, urging her forward before leaning down to capture her lips with her own. The kiss was soft, but filled with so many emotions. As the two parted, leaving the Doctor stunned, Yaz took her other hand to cup the Time Lord’s flushed cheek.

 

“I’m yours, in every way you’ll have me.”


 

"Sorry…your hair was in your face…thought I should move it so I could see you better."

 

Yaz had not expected to come away with cuts and bruises, and yet she was sitting on a padded bench in the TARDIS’ med-bay. Ryan and Graham had come off slightly better, only needed to remove dust and debris with a wash. The Doctor had also succumbed to the chaos, but insisted she was fine. Even though her calves were grazed, her forearm cut, and possibly nursing a broken finger or two. And yet, Yaz watched her, scurrying around the room trying to find various bits and pieces to tend to her companion.

If anything, it should be her doing the tending.

 

The Doctor returned to stand in front of her, dragging a small table to her side. Yaz noticed the small bowl of water, several balls of cotton, and a number of other first aid related paraphernalia. She also noticed the half apologetic, half guilty stare the Time Lord gave her. Without a word, she dipped a piece of the cotton wool into the water and began to clean up the cuts to her knuckles. Yaz hissed at the contact, so very tempted to pull her hands away.

“I’m sorry.”

But she stayed, muscles tensing, watching the Doctor take the upmost care with her. Once the dried blood had been cleaned away, cotton discarded, small spots of cream were placed on the wounds. Yaz closed her eyes, trying to concentrate on anything other than the sharp pain. Really, she had been stupid in trying to help with the situation, but her police training demanded that she do something. Even if it meant being caught off guard and thrown to the ground. When she opened her eyes again, she noticed squares of gauze covering the cuts, gently being wrapped in place by bandages.

“Probably won’t be using this hand for a bit, at least, not until the cuts have healed up.”

Feeling was slowly returning to her fingers, a light tingling sensation, which was at least welcomed. The Doctor seemed to pause for a moment, leaving her grasp on her companion’s hand far longer than necessary before moving on to her back. Yaz turned herself around on the bench, stomach twisting in knots at the thought of having to pull up her shirt. The switching dull and sharp pains made her realise how necessary it was, and so she held a breath as the Time Lord hooked her fingers underneath the hem of her star patterned top.

 

“I’ll be quick, I promise.”

“It’s okay, I know you know what you’re doing.”

 

As the cool air hit her skin, Yaz lurched forward slightly, feeling the fabric cling to her back and shoulders. There was an audible gasp from the Doctor, and she was glad that seeing the damage was something out of her reach. Equally cool fingertips traced the wide bruise mottling her left side, muscles tensing in response, before coming up to ghost over the graze over her shoulder blade.

 

“He did a number on you…”

“Yeah, but I’m pretty sure he won’t be speaking for a while. Not after that right hook of yours. What happened to being against violence?”

“Anything that can be fixed is fair game, remember? Plus…I…he…he hurt you.”

 

More warm cotton came to clean her wound up, taking away the dirt that had come in from the tear in her shirt. Yaz winced at a particularly tender spot that was starting to bruise under the cut, hands balling to fists in her lap. She was also glad that the Doctor could not see her in pain. Cream covered the graze, along with more gauze and some tape. Another beat of silence fell between them before the Time Lord pulled herself away. Craning her neck over her shoulder, Yaz watched as the woman untucked her blue shirt and pulled it over her head. Her eyes caught a glimpse of smooth pale skin as the undershirt rose with her, head snapping back to face the wall.

“You can borrow this until I get yours fixed. Saves walking out of here in just a bra. Slide that on, and then I’ll take a look at what else needs sorting.”

The shirt was draped across her un-injured shoulder, and Yaz took a moment to hold it between her fingers before sliding it over her head. It was awkward to move, with a half bandaged hand and a taped up shoulder, but she managed soon enough. She turned around again on the bench, lifting her head to see that the Doctor’s face was pressed into a frown. As the blonde came closer, one hand rose to slide dark hair behind her companion’s ear, fingertips brushing past her forehead and the side of her neck. Involuntarily, Yaz felt herself hold in a breath, heart hammering at the close contact.

 

“Sorry…your hair was in your face…thought I should move it so I could see you better.”

 

Whether or not the Doctor had meant for her words to come out in a way that made her swoon, Yaz had no idea. All she knew was she felt her face heating up as she stared into concerned hazel-green eyes. Pale fingers rose up again to trace under the cut on her cheek, before moving to retrieve another ball of cotton wool. With slow and deliberate care, the cut was soon washed and covered, leaving the two of them sitting side by side on the bench.

It was Yaz who spoke up first.

 

“Don’t you need your injuries helped with?”

“Me? No, no need. Can already feel the healing kicking in. Time Lord’s are made of much stronger stuff than you humans. Can’t feel much of a thing now. Also, not the first time I’ve taken the brunt of things. Had to save you lot from the sonic mine remember. Now that hurt. This? Not an issue.”

 

Yaz lifted a hand to the taped up cause on her cheek, gently pressing her fingers to the area, before trailing back to the strands of hair tucked behind her ear. She had not forgotten the oddly intimate moment, and likely would not for a long time. However, something about the simple act of having her cheek touched sparked something inside her. Yaz turned herself around to face the Doctor and took one of her hands in her own, gently squeezing it. The Time Lord looked down at their joined hands, then back up to her companion with a smile.

 

“Thank you…for looking after me.”

“No probl-”

 

Words became caught between the lips of Yasmin Khan, as she lent forward and placed the quickest of kisses to her. And just like that, she was gone, leaving the Doctor dazed and delirious.

Also possibly quite giddy and lovestruck.

Chapter Text

Café Date

 

It was just a silly little idea that had passed through her head, one she had accidentally spoke out loud and had thusly been dragged away for. Yaz had not exactly thought of a plan, but she was still wandering the streets of Sheffield with a very excited Doctor in toe. The weather had taken a sudden turn for the worst, most of the residents running around with coats over their heads or umbrellas in their hands. The Doctor had somehow been entirely prepared for the event, a rainbow striped golf umbrella shielding the pair of them from the heavy rain. Yaz hung off her free arm, eyes scanning the rows of shops and empty buildings as they walked.

 

“If I’d have known the weather was this bad, I would have kept my mouth shut.”

“Nonsense! Bit of rain never hurt anyone. Unless you’re on one of those planets with the acid rain…now that really smarts. Besides, I get to spend the day with you. What could be better? Hope the boy’s are enjoying their game. Can’t imagine football is fun in this weather.”

 

Yaz had unusually fond memories of playing football in all weathers, coming home covered in mud or snow, a massive grin on her face. Her mum, on the other hand, was not as amused. Especially with the amount of times she had to rope Yaz into cleaning the car with her. Pushing the moment aside, Yaz returned to focusing on finding the exact place she was looking for, pulling the Doctor down a small alleyway and pointing ahead. Tucked away in a row of old-fronted shops, was a very quaint little café. The front was decorated with hanging baskets of multicoloured flowers, white metal chairs and table covered by clear plastic sheets. Letting go of the Time Lord’s arm, Yaz ducked under the roof above the door, making space for the Doctor to lower the umbrella and shake most of the water off.

The door opened with a quiet ring, the only other patron turning his head briefly before returning to his newspaper. Both of them wiped their boots against the thick doormat, the Doctor leaving the umbrella in a convenient rack near the door. She quickly wandered over to a plush sofa that sat in the corner of the small café, letting out a contented sigh as she relaxed into the cushions. Yaz soon followed, but lingered on the arm of the sofa while she looked over at the menu.

 

“So then Doctor, what do you fancy?”

Her eyes lit up at the question, body leaning past Yaz to get a better look at the chalkboard behind the counter. It listed a wide variety of hot and cold drink, a pink arrow pointing towards the food display near the till. Cakes, biscuits and sandwiches were all lined up in neat rows, almost overloading the Doctor’s brain with choices. Realising that it was probably going to take most of the day for the Time Lord to decide, Yaz held out her hand and guided her closer to the display. The young man behind the counter gave them a quick smile before returning to his shelf sorting.

 

“Yaaaaaz, why are you making me choose? I can’t! Can you do it for me? Please? I trust you.”

Sometimes, Yaz pondered, being with the Doctor was like dealing with a small child. However, it was a completely endearing trait and she was more than happy to play up to the occasion. Gently nudging her shoulder, she gave a nod towards the Time Lord and had to stop herself from laughing as she excitedly jumped on the spot before returning to the sofa and watching expectantly. It took another few moments before Yaz had managed to settle on an order for the pair of them. She gently rapped on the counter, smiling as the barista came down off his step and turned to rest against the back counter.

 

“So, ready to order?”

“Yeah, I think so. Nit spoilt for choice if I’m honest.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment. What can I get for you?”

 

After another rush decision to mull over her own choices, Yaz finally handed over her money and watched as everything was prepared. She had settled on getting a spiced chai latte and a blueberry muffin for herself, a small hot chocolate with marshmallows and a slice of Victoria sponge for the Doctor. Once the tray was prepared, Yaz made a move to bring it to the table, but was stopped with a polite hum as the barista carried it over instead. With everything safely on the table, he wished them a pleasant stay before returning to his work. Finally settling down on the sofa beside the Doctor, Yaz watched her face light up again as she commented on how everything was so pretty and well made.

 

“It’s a family run business, they make everything themselves. Food-wise, I mean. Most of the things are all manner kinds of free-from. I took my mum here once, she loved it. Never got a chance to come back because of work though.”

The Doctor paused for a moment, giving a nod before wrapping both hands around the small mug and smiling towards her.

“Yaz, you’ve got a good eye for things, and you’ve never proved me wrong yet!”

 

She took a sip of the hot chocolate, or rather gulped a sizeable amount down, before pulling back with her tongue out and pouting. Yaz couldn’t help but laugh at the sight; a chocolate moustache with a blob of marshmallow, over exuberance leading to a burnt tongue. It was so perfectly her that it almost bought a tear to her eye from the absurdity of it all. Yaz picked up one of the tissues from the tray leant over towards the Doctor, who was whining quietly to herself, before changing tact and swiping at her upper lip with one of her fingers. Whether it was from the hot drink, or from being flustered, the Doctor’s cheeks began to colour pink quite quickly.

 

“Honestly Doctor, you need to learn to either wait or blow on your drinks before drinking them. You’re gonna have no tongue left at all at the rate you’re going.”

Yaz flashed a smile before placing the finger in her mouth, cleaning it off before whispering at a pitch she knew only the Doctor could hear.

“And I’d be pretty upset if you damaged your tongue.”

 

Counting her work a success at how quickly the Doctor closed her mouth and turned to look at the opposite wall, Yaz let out a contented sigh before turning her attention towards her own sweet treat. Fork clattered against the plate as she tore away a small piece and savoured the bite. A few seconds later, the Doctor turned back around, eyes watching Yaz briefly before turning to the muffin and back again. It had become an ingrained part of their relationship, sharing food, although Yaz was keen to sit around and take her time until the Time Lord felt brave enough to broach the subject. She could hear the slight wince in her words as she spoke against her burnt tongue.

 

“What’tha goth there Yaz?”

Yaz turned the plate around slightly, showing off the golden cake and bleeding blue-purple fruit.

 

“Blueberry muffin. Why? You want a bite?”

“Can I? I’ll thrade you for thome of my cake too!”

 

Twisting the plate back around to her size, Yaz took another chunk of the muffin up on her fork. The Doctor moved on hand to take it away from her, but she merely shook her head and gestured for her to open her mouth instead. With a smile tugging on the corners of her lips, the Doctor opened her mouth and let Yaz pass the muffin between her lips, teeth pulling it away slowly. Although fruit was not something that Yaz had ever really seen the Time Lord eat, if at all, her reaction to the muffin was somewhat of a surprise. She guessed it barely even touched any part of her, besides her stomach, and judging by the beaming grin she didn’t inherently hate it either. Score one for desserts, as always. The Doctor practically hummed with joy, picking up her own fork and diving it into the thinnest corner of the cake slice.

 

“Okay, now you gotta tell me how good this one is. I mean, it looks absolutely amazing and I don’t doubt it’s good but I want you to have some before I more than likely eat it way too fast.”

Yaz placed her form back down, shuffling closer towards the Doctor until their legs brushed. Moving some loose strands of hair behind her ear, she waited for the Time Lord to bring the fork up before opening her mouth and taking the piece of cake away. Despite not usually going for the sweeter options, she could only just about manage the muffin most of the time, Yaz had to admit that the Victoria sponge had a nice tang to it with the tart jam in the middle.

“Well, you’re sweet tooth is going to really enjoy that. Maybe eat that before tackling the hot chocolate again…”

 

For the remainder of their sweet treat, neither of the spoke. Yaz found herself often distracted by watching the Doctor, only breaking away from her transfixed gaze long enough to slowly sip at her latte. Considering that most of their time was spent running and exploring, little moments of quiet were few and far between, especially ones on Earth. She wanted to savour them, keep hold of them, make memories to last a lifetime. If that meant watching the Doctor tackling a slice of cake with childlike glee, then she would do just that. Unsurprisingly, the Time Lord finished before she did, sinking further into the sofa and letting her eyes ghost over the rare few people that walked past the window of the café.

 

The rain had let up considerably since they had sat down, a few drops occasionally hitting the window, heavy drips falling from the hanging baskets and canopy roof above the door. Her attention turned back to Yaz at the sound of the fork against the tray, head turning to watch her dab one of the tissues against her lips. Her mug lay bare, save for a small rim of foam, and her plate was covered by the muffin case and an array of crumbs. Having a quiet moment away from the rest of the world had been nice, but there was something about it all that left a strange feeling in her stomach. A fluttering, twisted feeling. The Doctor simply chose to ignore it, assuming that it was just because of the amount of sugar she had eaten.

Straightening out her jeans, Yaz stood up from the sofa and took the tray in her hands, leaving it on the counter for the barista who was not presumably in the back somewhere. The Doctor moved over to the door, picking up the umbrella and pushing it open for Yaz and herself to walk through. She could not help a smile appearing on her face as the door bell rang out as they left. One hand gripping the umbrella handle, the Doctor moved more towards the covered tables and chairs, rocking slightly on her heels, leaving Yaz to look at her with a perplexed stare.

 

“Thanks for going out today Yaz. This was a great place, and I really enjoyed it.”

“Any time. Sometimes it’s just nice to get away for a little bit, you know? Plus, I’ll take any excuse I can get to take you out on another date.”

 

Yaz made a move to leave, to head back into the city centre and back to the TARDIS, but before she could do so, a hand came to rest on her shoulder. She turned her head to see the same blush colouring the Doctor’s cheeks, and wide hazel-green eyes staring at her.

 

“You…we…this was…this was a date?”

“Um…yes? Doctor…please tell me that you haven’t thought this was just a friend thing the whole time. I’ve taken you out five times now!”

 

Judging by the Doctor’s expression, there had been some serious crossed wires between the pair of them.

 

“I…but…I just thought you were being friends. Good friends.”

“Doctor, I’ve kissed you!”

“I know but…a kiss on the cheek can mean anything Yaz. I’ve seen you human women do it to your friends, your husbands, to whomever! In some cultures, it’s a goodbye thing or a greeting or just something that you do to show that you like someone at all an I never even thought tha-  mmmph!”

 

Determined to both keep the Doctor from rambling anymore about the nature of kisses, and to prove a point, Yaz moved her hands to the Doctor’s suspenders and yanked her down until their lips met in a hard kiss. When Yaz pulled back, eyes burning with both irritation and love for the oblivious Time Lord, she watched realisation wash over the Doctor’s face.

 

“Do friends do that?”

“N-no…”

“Do y’believe me now that I really like you?”

“I…um…m-maybe…”

 

She pulled her closer again, just to eye level, taking the time to bring their noses together and whisper the words across the Doctor’s reddening face.

 

“Don’t make me do that again to prove a point. I’m not a fan of public displays of affection. I like you a lot, you oblivious idiot.”

“I like you too.”

 

The response was barely audible, but it was there, and Yaz ran with it. She let go of the Doctor’s suspenders, allowing her to create enough room between them to hold out an arm for her to take. Sliding her own arm through the loop, she smiled, taking the Time Lord back on the short walk to the TARDIS. Despite having revealed her crush in the most dramatic way she had ever experienced, Yaz was more than happy to know that the feelings were mutual and that she had not wasted her time. On the plus side, she could now feel a very obvious spring in the Doctor’s step. When she turned her eyes up to gaze at her under the speckled sun, she saw a wide smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye usually reserved for the wonders of the universe.

Chapter Text

Cuddles With Yaz

 

It had been too long since she had had some downtime, far too long. Too many adventures, too many days at work, barely enough room to breathe without someone wanting her for something. Not that she didn’t love every minute of it, it was just exhausting. Ryan and Graham had already been dropped off home for the evening, while Yaz had decided to stay on the TARDIS Going home to familial chaos was not on her agenda, not again. She had arranged to have a quiet night in with the Doctor, something that had also been neglected. They had been doing a very strange dance of avoiding their feelings, another thing Yaz was tired of.

So, she planned to remedy it with a night of films and snacks.

 

The last hour had been spent preparing the tv room for the occasion; blankets were draped over stacks of chairs and pillows, creating a little cozy home, with the inside filled with whatever plush items she could find scattered around the ship. Along the way, Yaz assumed the TARDIS had started to help her out, as she found strings of battery powered fairy lights, fleece pyjamas, and an overly stocked kitchen for her to raid to her heart’s content. Even the Doctor needed to rest sometimes, and she was entirely too guilty of running on nothing until she collapsed at the console and had to be dragged to bed.

Satisfied with her work, Yaz left the room and set off on her search for the Doctor. She had not seen her loitering around the console room since she made her plans to stay in for the night, almost missing the sounds of sparks flying and mindless jabbering about technology she had no idea about. Repairs were evidently not on the cards, either that or the TARDIS had kicked her out of the room. Again. Her searches in the Doctor’s bedroom also came up with nothing, dark and barren, with clutter still scattered around every inch of floor space. It took several attempts of searching various rooms, before Yaz found the Doctor in one of the many lounges.

She was lying down on the pale blue sofa, legs dangling off the arm rest, book perched precariously in one hand as the other dragged against the carpet. The Doctor only moved to turn the page, or to rearrange the never-before-seen glasses that rested against the bridge of her nose. Her hair fanned out across the cushions, still matted from their running through the rainforests earlier in the day, curled and messy and practically embodying her boundless energy. Yaz waited in the doorway for a moment, taking a moment to truly appreciate the calm sight before her. As the Doctor tried to hide a yawn, she found her moment to enter the room and grab her attention.

 

“Mm? Oh, hiya Yaz. You weren’t looking for me or anything, were you? Got a bit lost reading up on the legends of Pherox. A load of nonsense if you ask me, I should know, I was there for most of them.”

Yaz couldn’t stop the smile that came onto her fa e, shaking her head slightly in response.

“It’s a good job you’re not an author, you’d put so many people out of business. Anyway, I was wondering if you wanted to watch a film with me.”

The Doctor looked down at her book, then back up to Yaz. There was a beat of silence before she spoke.

“Sure! Why not. Just gimme a minute to put this back where it belongs. I’ll come find you.”

 

Mission accomplished, Yaz made her way back to the tv room. Considering the Doctor had to make her way through the library to put the book back, she guessed she had enough time to change into the comfortable clothes the TARDIS had provided. Crawling inside the makeshift fortress, Yaz carefully made her way out of her still dirty clothes and into the soft pyjamas. It took a few more minutes before she hear the Doctor’s boots coming down the hallway, followed by a confused gasp. Tucking some loose hair behind her ears, Yaz poked her head out from between the blanket curtains, holding back laughter at the Doctor’s childish excitement.

 

“You never said anything about a pillow fort! Yasmin Khan, this is the best night ever. A gold star and ten points for you!”

Rolling her eyes at the clearly rigged system of appreciation, Yaz threw the other set of pyjamas out into the room, gesturing between them and the Doctor.

“No regular clothes allowed. You’ve got to get into those before I let you in. Oh, and the password is custard creams.”

 

With that, Yaz made her way back into the safety of the fort. She could hear the Doctor hastily getting undressed outside, boots clattering amongst various other noises, meaning she was able to look through the collection of films she had found. Most of them were classics from her childhood, animated or otherwise, things that helped her to relax and unwind. Choosing one at random with her eyes closed, the disc was inserted into the DVD player just as the Doctor whispered outside of the blankets.

 

“Custard creams.”

“Come on in.”

 

Slowly making her way inside, careful of not messing up the placement of pillows and other blankets too much, the Doctor settled herself in besides Yaz. Her eyes were alight with glee, looking over everything. Yaz noticed then, having failed to before, that the pyjamas the Doctor had were covered in tiny planets and stars. She brought a blanket up over her shoulders, offering the other end of it for Yaz to slip under. They sat huddled up together, the Time Lord dragging over the closest plate, quickly popping half a custard cream into her mouth with a contented sigh. In contrast, Yaz made a beeline for the popcorn, resting the bowl on top of her crossed legs.

 

“You ready?”

“Mhmm!”

 

By the time they had gotten through the first half of the film, Yaz could feel her eyes starting to droop. She couldn’t tell if it was because of the warmth of their fort, the low lighting, or the fact the Doctor was drawing patterns against her knee. Whatever it was, she doubted she would last more than two showings at best. She chanced a glance over towards the Doctor, realising she was far too engrossed in the plot to even pay attention to her. Tiredness was coming across her eyes and face as well, the stifled yawn from earlier coming out in full force. The hand against her knee shifted to rub at her eyes, before it slid under the blanket and around her waist. Soon enough, there was a head resting against her shoulder, and Yaz could feel herself going under even quicker. She moved the bowl of popcorn from her lap, taking one final mouthful, before settling deeper into the plush surroundings.

As the ending song played quietly in the background, Yaz found herself jolting slightly. She could not remember the film ending at all, somewhat irritated at herself for missing the best parts. Her movements inadvertently caused the Doctor to pull away from her.

 

“Huh? What? Aww, don’t tell me it’s over. I only shut my eyes for a second, I swear.”

“Doctor, we can watch it again another time. I think I nodded off a bit myself then…might be an idea to turn this off and lie down. Unless…you want to go sleep in your own bed or something. I don’t mind.”

 

With another yawn, the Doctor disentangled herself from the blanket cover, stretching out her arms.

“No, s’comfy here.”

 

Now free of the blanket herself, Yaz set about turning the electronics off. She pushed the food to one side, stacking some of them on top of the television unit, leaving the pile of films close by. When she turned around again, the Doctor had already made herself comfortable in the pillows. The blanket was covering half of her, tucked around her feet, and she held the other side open for Yaz to shuffle quietly into. On trips away, they had shared a bed. It had taken Yaz quite a while to get the Doctor to accept the fact she did not have to sleep on the floor. Eventually, she had conceded, but this time somehow felt different. There was no necessity involved, it had just happened naturally. It felt right somehow. Yawning herself, Yaz turned onto her side and looked at the Doctor, smiling at her half-awake stare. As she closed her eyes to settle in, there was a mumble besides her.

 

“Yaz?”

“Hmm?”

“Can I ask you something?”

 

Opening her eyes again, Yaz swore she saw the Doctor blushing.

“Sure.”

 

Much like with the incident in the lounge, the Doctor paused, mulling over her words and almost biting her tongue.

“Can I…can we…is it alright if we, um…”

 

It took a moment for Yaz to realise what the Doctor was too afraid to say, instinctively opening her arms up and giving her warmest smile. She shuffled closer towards the Time Lord, letting her slot between her arms and rest her head on her chest. One arm wound around her waist in response, fingers curling into the fleece of her top, followed by a sigh. Apparently, the Doctor was a hugger. Yaz did not care if her heart was racing, or that she was entirely too warm with the blankets and the Doctor too. Her eyes were quickly getting heavier, and it was a struggle to stay awake. Before she drifted off completely, Yaz swore she heard the Doctor whisper a ‘thank you’ into her chest, leaving her smiling.

Cocooned in the blanket fort, blankets and Yaz’s arms, the Doctor found sleep coming to her quickly. She felt safe, secure, warm. While she had never truly thought about being able to ask for something she wanted, something that was probably simpler than she was making it out to be, she was very glad that Yaz was able to read her so well and provide exactly what she needed most.

Cuddling and sleeping with Yaz, it turned out, was the best thing ever.

 


 

Dressed to Impress

 

It had been far too long since she had last taken a peek inside the vast, multi-floored wardrobe she used to adore. He used to adore. They used to adore? The lights flickered to life as soon as she entered the room, welcoming her with a warm white glow. Rows upon rows of rails lined the walls, filled to the brim with clothes from different eras and planets. But there was one floor in particular she was after, one specific wardrobe. The Doctor had found herself with an inexplicable longing, a yearning, a powerful wave of nostalgia. She had had time to process the effects of her regeneration between crashing into Cardiff and accidentally ejecting herself and her friends into space to find her TARDIS. There was also time to ponder her clothes.

When Ryan and Yaz had taken her to the various shops around Sheffield, finally settling on a charity shop of all places, the Doctor had practically begged all of them not to throw away her torn and burnt-up suit. There had been some conflict over it, especially when it came to the idea of repairing it, but she wanted it just as it was. How she remembered it. Winding her way up the spiral stairs, daring between the rails and running her hands across the clothes, she finally found the spot she was looking for.

Almost in the centre of the walkway, was a dark-wood wardrobe. It looked as if it had been plucked right out of the renaissance, which perhaps it had, she couldn’t remember anymore. The panelled doors were carved with intricate filigree patterns, thick wrought iron hinges holding everything together. There was no mirror, just two doors, shining gold handles drawing in the touch of her fingers. It sparked the longing again, memories flashing in and out of her mind rapidly. So much history was contained inside. Far too much. History better left untouched and undisturbed by her chaos.

 

The Doctor carefully opened the doors wide, allowing the light of the room to filter in. Dust motes floated from inside the wardrobe itself, scattering into the air and fading away into the ether. Her hearts ached at the sights. During the TARDIS’ time spent blinking in and out of time, she had redecorated almost every room inside her own never-ending walls. When the Doctor had first explored, the night they were reunited, she returned to the wardrobe room to find the grand object awaiting her. She almost cried the first time she was urged to look inside.

Atop the wooden rail, hung thirteen sets of clothing. All of them in chronological order. A memento to her past, to where she had come from and who they had been before. Each item sparked a different memory, a different feeling, mixing together as she trailed a hand across all of them. The Doctor often came to stare at them, to take them out and simply look at and enjoy them. She had cried, raged, been elated and giddy. Tonight, the nostalgia was strongest, enough to draw her towards actually removing the plastic covers. Her choices were vast, each outfit a signature of theirs in one life or another. He really had a thing for suits. Eyes closed and hand ready, the Doctor picked one of them at random, carefully studying it once she opened her eyes again.

 

“Oh, I remember this one.”

 

With a smile on her face, the Doctor moved towards the right hand side of the room, making a beeline for a mirror. It stood floor to ‘ceiling’, no fancy detailing or frames. Dropping the clothes neatly atop a small chest, she began to deal with her current outfit. Dusty blue-purple coat was hung atop a hook on the wall, hands moving to pull the braces off her shoulders. The most arduous task of undressing herself came from her boots, although she had found a method of tying them whereby she could just kick them off easily. Standing in just a sports bra - navy blue with gold and silver stars – and matching shorts, the Doctor turned her attention to the layers of clothing she had word many countless years ago. She had forgotten how good velvet felt; soft and silky, with a slight roughness. Completely the opposite texture to the pure silk cravat and the highly embroidered waistcoat.

 

“Right then.”

 

Several rows of shirt buttons were no match for her quick fingers, neither was the knot of the cravat. Despite the few inches off she was in terms of height, the shirt and trousers did not fit too awfully. Of course, the bottoms would thankfully be tucked into the leather boots. Considering she was used to wearing many layers of her own, there was something about the outfit that was taking far longer than usual. Perhaps part of her eighth incarnation was coming through after all, guiding her, making sure everything was exactly as it should be. It wouldn’t be a surprise at all, she had had the odd passing thought here and there she could have related to her previous selves.

Unbeknownst to the Doctor, high above the main floor of the wardrobe room, Yaz was wandering around the TARDIS. She had woken up from a short nap after her run around the gym, quietly concerned at the lack of sight of the Time Lord. Normally, they made plans to have a cup of tea together in the console room, but the Doctor had been nowhere to be found. As if sensing her distress, the TARDIS had lead her towards the grand room, doors already wide open. Yaz had never personally seen that particular room, only heard of its existence and been ushered into a much smaller one somewhere else on the ship. Her eyes scanned the room, utterly in awe at the amount of clothes contained. Not even a retailer’s warehouse would have been stocked so high. She heard shuffling noises coming from another floor, drawn instinctively towards a spiral staircase leading up there.

Not wanting to draw attention to herself, Yaz refrained from calling out, choosing instead to creep up the stairs as silently as possible. She was glad her footsteps were muffled by a plush red carpet that snaked across the steps. When she reached the next floor, Yaz stopped in her tracks. Aside from noticing an open wardrobe filled with a colourful array of clothes, she was distracted by a bouncing mop of blonde hair. Except…it didn’t quite look like the Doctor. Firstly, her usual outfit was neatly folded away to one side. Secondly, she was wearing…some kind of suit? Her eyes were distracted by the subtle sway of the dark green frockcoat, the long leather boots, and the way the Doctor seemed to dance around her reflection.

 

It wasn’t until the Doctor turned around with a pocket watch in her hand, supposedly intent on viewing the back of her outfit, that she caught sight of Yaz standing at the top of the staircase.

 

“I…um…hiya Yaz.”

“Doctor…what on earth are you wearing?”

 

Aside from the shock of it all, Yaz had to admit that the Doctor really knew how to wear a fancy suit. She watched as the Time Lord looked down at her outfit, and back up to her, smiling shyly.

“My old clothes. Well, some of them anyway. I bet I look proper daft…”

 

There was a tinge of sadness to her tone as she let out a sigh, hands finding their way into the pockets of the frockcoat. A comfort, a coping mechanism. Her hands came into contact with several items, but she paid them no mind. She was more concerned about the smile on Yaz’s face, which while not threatening, did make her self-conscious.

 

“I wouldn’t say that, it’s just…different. Although, considering you spent an entire week in the same burnt up suit, I’m not entirely surprised. Didn’t take you for a natural hues kinda person, if I’m honest. Brings out your eyes though.”

Realising the conversation had been opened up, and that Yaz was not in fact judging her harshly, the Doctor’s usual smile came back into her face as she took several steps closer and twirled on the spot.

 

“Oh, my eighth self…he was a right one. Didn’t intend to dress like this, it really was the first thing I found. Can’t remember why, but oh well. You like it? I do like a good long coat with pockets, absolutely essential. I guess I’ve just always been more comfortable in suits, or things like them anyway. Still. Not a patch on what I’m wearing now. Oh Yaz, you lot would have found me insufferable, at least considering everyone called me a romantic.”

 

She recounted her days, crossing through the timeline and alternate worlds, going wherever their heart took them. The people they met and the family they had…until everything came burning down around them. Yaz picked up on the melancholy in her eyes, coming to stand in front of her and place a hand on her shoulder. It was a nice, comforting gesture.

 

“Maybe you could tell me sometime. About all these people you’ve been.”

As the Doctor gave a nod, Yaz gave another soft smile before heading back towards the stairs. Just before descending, she looked over her shoulder and called out.

“Oh, and I think you’re still a romantic. It suits you. Now, come on you old charmer, Graham’s made dinner and you know what he’s like if he doesn’t eat on time. Just…might wanna get changed so the boys don’t think you’ve lost it completely.”

 

Just like that; Yaz was gone, leaving the Doctor standing in remnants of her past, feeling her future light up before her.

Chapter Text

Soft!hobo!13

 

She couldn’t quite remember how long she had felt cold for. It had followed her around for quite some time, but all the memories were hazy at best and fractured at worst. The cold ran straight through her skin, made her bones ache, froze her blood. She was small, alone and afraid, lost in a world that made no sense. She had spent nights in all weathers, with nothing to her but strange clothes on her back and a pain in her head. Except, it hadn’t stayed that way. No, something changed quite suddenly. There came a moment in her life where a bright light enveloped her, wrapping around her and drawing her in tightly. The light was warm, soft and safe. It sent tingles through her nerves and set butterflies fluttering in her stomach. She couldn’t remember feeling so warm in all her life. Even with a fresh mug of hot chocolate in her hands, body covered by thick fluffy clothing, it did not compare to the feeling of a head gently resting on her shoulder. Dark hair tickled her cheek, hot breath ghosting over her bare shoulder and leaving goosebumps in its wake. Fingertips gently traced circles atop her hand, grazing over her dry and chapped knuckles, another buried into the thick knit of her jumper and clinging to her soft swell of her hip. There was no way she could feel cold anymore, because her guiding light and fire was close by to keep her safe. As hazel-green eyes watched the snow fall around them from the safety of the pavillion, tasting like sugar on her lips, she knew she had found her home in one Yasmin Khan.

 


 

Possessed!13

 

This wasn’t their Doctor. It couldn’t be. The Doctor that they knew was a bright and brilliant bundle of boisterous mad energy, someone who wanted the best out of everyone and strove to right all of the wrongs that came in her way. She was kind, and courageous, and the light of the room. Her mind was as out of their world as she herself was and it was the binding force that drew them all together. Except, all of that was gone. There was no glimmer of love in her eyes, only the dull darkness of madness. Her smile was no longer a comfort, twitching and twisting as she glowered at them from the blanket of night. Flickers of gold licked at the weeping wounds tearing through the pale skin of her face and down her neck, bringing such a stark shadow over her face as surreal as any nightmare could produce. Splinters and shards of her sonic were scattered across the grass, a bloody tip of crystal staring them all right in the face. Smouldering cinders spun smoke around her, scattered metallic limbs and wires surrounding her in a macabre display of destruction and death. She had told them to run, used herself to save them because they stupidly decided to stay, and now they were going to pay the price for their loyalties. The Doctor moved through the wreckage like it was nothing, kicking over the head of one of her conquests as her three companions slowly crept backwards.

 

“Oh, you three will be the perfect first conversion experiments.”

 


 

Actual soft!doc

 

Eyelids slowly fluttered closed as a silent sigh escaped her lips, shivers travelling up her spine. Hands travelled up and down her sides as featherlight kisses were pressed to her skin. For all the self-loathing and discomfort she felt in herself, she could never quite believe how wonderful it felt to have her self described blemishes and flaws be praised and adored. The faint red-purple lines swirling across the soft skin of her hips and stomach were each paid equal attention to, the gentle touches moving from above her protruding hip bone and down to the widest part of her thighs. There was nothing stirring inside her except endless love. She felt safe under the covers, letting Yaz take away all of her insecurities as she moved across her. When she had covered every inch of her in her love, she felt the waistband of her pyjama bottoms being pulled up back into place, protecting her. The Doctor opened her eyes to see Yaz back on the opposite pillow, moving a hand into her hair and gently stroking it as another came to slide under her waist and pull her closer. Her shift fell down to cover the remainder of her bare torso as the Doctor tilted her head forward and pressed a slow and gentle kiss to Yaz’s lips with a smile and a hum. It was the perfect morning, and one that she wanted to relive forever.

Chapter Text

“See you tomorrow, gang! Bright and early, we’ve got a big day planned after all. Graham, you’re on lunch duty. Ryan, too. Meet you outside Yaz’s at 8. Hopefully.”

 

With a wide smile on her face, the Doctor waved off Ryan and Graham as they stepped inside his terraced house, just catching wind of their excited murmurs. They had been planning a trip to tour the best beaches in the universe for the last few weeks, each of them picking one of their favourites from the Doctor’s massive onboard library of locations. All she had to do was drop Yaz off at her flat, but an idea struck her as she lingered in the doorway. There was something that she wanted her to see – just her – and knew exactly how to go about it. Turning on her heels, the Doctor skipped inside, watching as Yaz playfully rolled her eyes at her exuberant display. Surely there was no harm in borrowing her for a couple of hours? The TARDIS seemed to agree with her, humming joyously inside her head, drawing her closer towards the console and keeping her there as she gestured towards Yaz.

 

“So…about going home. I was thinking…maybe…how do you fancy a little early preview?”

 

As she expected, Yaz’s eyes lit up with the same wonder she had come to know and adore, mouth dropping slightly as she silently took in the arrangement proposed to her. It was any wonder really that her hand hadn’t been snapped off in an instant, but it merely added to the suspense that set every nerve of hers on edge. In the best way.

 

“Oh. Sure. That’s…wow. Where were you thinking of going?”

“That’s for me to know, and you to find out. Just give me a second to get the old girl set up, then we can go get into something more beach-ready. How’s that sound?”

 

Yaz nodded slowly, stepping ack a few paces as the Doctor set about the familiar yet chaotic dance that was apparently piloting a space ship. She tilted her head up to stare at the central most column of crystal, watching it bob up and down as the TARDIS hissed and groaned. After all her time spent travelling with the Doctor, just hearing that sound alone was enough to make her feel like an excited child. Although the landing was a tad awkward and bouncy, Yaz didn’t care, all she cared about was the wide beaming grin on the Doctor’s face and her outstretched hand. She took hold of it with a smile of her own, followed by a little yelp of surprise as she felt herself being dragged out of the main room. Stumbling up the steps, she followed the Doctor between various rooms until they ended up in the fabled wardrobe room. Yaz had been in there enough times before, mostly for when blending in with past events was called for. Not like the Doctor ever seemed to care for it herself. Then again, nobody ever seemed to question her eccentric attire.

 

“Now, it’s going to be pretty warm out there. I’d suggest dressing like…hm…what’s hot to you? Because my estimate for this time of day, in this time of the solar cycle, should roughly work out to an Earth temperature of thirty eight degrees Celsius. Give or take the odd degree here and there.”

“Oh. Right. Well. I’m sure I’ll find something in here. The TARDIS seems to have everything really. Is there anything…you know, I shouldn’t wear? Or should wear, even?”

 

The Doctor shook her head, her only answer, hands coming to rest against Yaz’s shoulders as she gently pushed her further into the room. It was a silent request for her to get ready, and soon she was left to her own devices. Yaz just about caught a glimpse of blonde hair disappearing into the many endless rails of clothes. She sighed to herself, taking her time drawing her hands through whatever was on offer. It had been so long since she had been to a beach, never mind one that sounded quite tropical. Her childhood holidays of consisted of trips around the English coastline, like many others.

There had been talks about actually going to India for a holiday with her family, but it had just never materialised. Having the Doctor decide that they needed to take a proper vacation…it was everything she had ever hoped for. The amount of times she had watched tv and escaped to wherever nice was on show. She wondered what clear white sands and crystal teal oceans looked and felt like. Perhaps she was getting her chance to find out, who could say. Either way, Yaz continued to search the mountains of clothes on offer as she daydreamed. What would be the perfect thing to wear? Moreover, what did she feel comfortable in around the Doctor, especially as it was just the two of them. Yaz had no idea what the crafty Time Lord was up to, although that didn’t really matter. What did matter was the fact she seemingly happened to stumble upon the perfect look. She turned around, half expecting the Doctor to jump out and say she had chosen it. But she was nowhere in sight. Turning her eyes up to the ceiling, she gave a questioning look towards the TARDIS, and was surprised to hear a faint humming inside her head.

 

“You did this, didn’t you?”

 

Yaz muttered quietly, smiling as the humming gained a higher pitch. Of course it was the TARDIS. Bundling the clothes into her arms, she quickly hurried into the nearest changing room. It didn’t take long for her to get changed, although she did spend most of the time staring in the mirror and wondering if she was going about things the right way. She was happy with the choice that the TARDIS had presented to her – a tie-dye bikini set in blues and purples, along with a sarong of a similar design but with scattered stars – although Yaz had not seen so much of herself on display for years. She felt comfortable, and was especially fond of the silver ankle high sandals, but something still bothered her. Knowing the Doctor, she was bound to be far more covered up. She never even took her coat off unless it was strictly necessary. Yaz’s fingers idly toyed with the loose curls around her shoulders, eyes travelling up and down her body. It couldn’t be that bad. Everything was fine. She trusted the TARDIS, somehow. Carefully tightening the wrap around her waist, Yaz made her way out of the wardrobe room and back down the hallway towards the console.

Much to her surprise, the Doctor was already waiting for her at the bottom of the steps, eyes wide as she paused at the top and stared back in kind. Her original guess about the Doctor’s style choices were quite far from what she was seeing. A deep navy crop top sat just under her chest, lined with silver trim, matching a pair of slightly looser shorts that were decorated with constellations of all kinds. Her hair was all over the place, looking as if she had either been dragged through a storm or a hedge, but Yaz could only describe it as having a strange surfer vibe to it. She also had silver sandals, although they were far more practical and easy to get into when compared to the ones Yaz had found. Despite everything, though, Yaz found herself staring at the Doctor’s figure rather than her dress sense. She had sweeping curves around her hips and stomach, strong arms to go with her posture and presence, and the freckles she had seen on her face deficiently expanded to other places on her body as well. After feeling like her body had shut down for far longer than necessary, Yaz finally made her way down the hexagonal steps and stood to the side of the Doctor, smiling at how her eyes followed her the entire way down.

 

“So…are you going to take me out?”

The Doctor remained silent, questioned her with knitted brows, before making a quiet noise of surprise and shaking her head.

 

“Oh. Yeah. Sorry. Right. Come on, you’re going to love this. Hopefully.”

The Doctor lead her over towards the doors, but paused with her arm across both of them.

 

“Do me a favour? Close your eyes for a sec.”

 

Of course it was going to remain a surprise. Yaz thought for a moment, letting out a mock sigh of irritation, before placing both hands over her eyes. She heard the doors opening, the familiar squeak of hinges followed soon by a strong hit of warm air. She could also smell the salt from the water, clean and fresh air. Hands came against her care shoulders, gently coerced her out into the open. Yaz felt the dip in the world as she fell down into what she assumed was soft and pliable sand. The world around her was silent, and she waited patiently for the Doctor to move around to her side and gently nudge her against one arm.

 

“Okay. Open.”

 

Yaz lowered her hands slowly, mouth almost dropping to the floor as she saw what the world was like around her. She was indeed on a spotless sandy beach, except the sand was glowing silver with specks of copper and cold. The sky was a deep navy, almost black, with more stars than she had ever seen in her life. It was framed by traces of another galaxy, a shifting mass of red and orange hues, drawing the eye towards the four moons in the sky. Two looked much like the one back on Earth, while one had a faint blue hue and the other more yellow. Even the water had a glow, although from the looks of things, it was due to the life inside it. The surface rippled and shimmered with every colour she could think of, something akin to fireflies dancing over the waves at the shore. Yaz felt as if all time had stopped, but she was brought back to reality by a hand gently coming across her cheek and the Doctor staring at her with such concern, she briefly wondered if she had uttered something offensive in her daze.

 

“Yaz, are you okay? You’re crying. We can…we can go back inside if you want. Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you upset.”

“What?”

 

When the Doctor moved away, Yaz dragged her fingertips over her cheek, picking up small specks of moisture. She had, in fact, been crying. Quickly turning to face the Doctor, Yaz shook her head as she spoke.

 

“N-no! It’s not bad, I’m not upset. I promise! It’s just…this place…it’s all so…so…overwhelming. In a good way. It’s absolutely beautiful here. I don’t quite know what to say.”

 

The Doctor’s face softened, hands awkwardly rubbing down her arms before she held out one crooked elbow to Yaz’s direction. Her head gestured out towards the beach, a twinkle in her eyes and a smile on her face. Feeling a flush creep into her cheeks – from the humid air, she thought – Yaz slipped her arm into the offered space and set a gentle pace with the Doctor across the glowing sands. It was hard, trying to figure out where to look first. Even harder trying to listen to whatever was being said to her. Yaz had completely tuned everything out, still unable to comprehend what was happening. It felt like she was in a dream, a fantasy world of her own creation. But, when she felt the Doctor move from linked arms to holding hands, she knew she was awake. A thumb gently brushed back and forth over the top of her hands, drawing circles and generally bringing her back to reality. Yaz turned to look at the Doctor, gasping quietly as she looked at her. Her pale skin was illuminated by the glowing sands, blonde hair now golden and flowing like the waves of the ocean. When she caught sight of hazel-green eyes turning, Yaz had to quickly turn her attention back to the ocean, pretending she hadn’t just been staring at the most beautiful sight of all.

 

“You know…I’ll never not be amazed at how much joy and wonder you find in things like this, Yaz. When you get to my age, things just…grow a little stale. But you make it fun.”

 

Stopping in her tracks, Yaz looked at the Doctor as she tried to avert her gaze. There was definitely a blush on her, the fingers of her free hand knotting together as a distraction. In all the time she had been travelling with the Time Lord, Yaz had to admit that that had been the most sentimental thing she had heard her say. Ever. She squeezed her hand as an offer of reassurance, watching her gaze turn back to her and a wide smile pass over her face.

 

“Dance with me?”

“Um…what?”

 

Something in the air changed, very quickly, and it gave Yaz a strange sense of whiplash. The Doctor moved their intertwined hands outwards, moving her free hand around her waist. Having the contact against the bare skin of her lower back sent shivers up her spine, and it took Yaz a few moments before she realised she needed to move her own hand to rest against the Doctor’s shoulder. She had never danced formally, never found the need to, least of all at the many school dances she had begrudgingly attended with Sonya a couple of years prior. There was a sureness to the Doctor’s movements, as if it was second nature for her to settle into a ballroom stance. It felt stranger still to be in a situation of dancing without music, but when the Doctor ever so slowly started to move her feet, Yaz found it hard not to follow her. She seemed to have found the natural rhythm of the space around her. Whenever the Doctor would move forward, the tide would follow, and would leave whenever she stepped backwards. Both of them gently turned every few steps, and Yaz couldn’t help but stare at the Doctor as the dance went on. Every part of her seemed to be glowing, although she knew it was merely her imagination acting up with all the soft glowing nature around her, but she wasn’t imagining how the Time Lord’s eyes had changed. They were softer, newer, no longer held the withdrawn worn down worries of time. They were bright, youthful almost, and had picked up the golden tones of her hair considerably. It was like she was looking at a different person, and yet she was fully aware it was still the Doctor.

 

“Doctor, I didn’t know you could dance.”

“Jack of all trades, me. Full of surprises. I can feel this planet turning, vibrating, the natural resonance just outside the field of most species’ senses. I can hear it too, the humming and the chiming. This planet makes music inside my head and I move in accordance with it.”

 

There always was an explanation for everything that the Doctor did. Yaz hadn’t been expecting something so…alien, however. As she felt herself being pushed and twisted away at arm’s length, back bending into a sweeping curve from the momentum, she started to wonder if what she was being told was true. Far from it for her to not believe the Time Lord, although when she was wound back in with a sudden pull, she couldn’t help but let her eyes force the question. As they continued to turn in silence, the Doctor started to laugh, shaking her head in a way that left Yaz more than a little confused.

 

“You want to feel it, don’t you?”

“I wouldn’t know if it was possible or not.”

“Everything’s possible, Yaz. Tilt forward a little. That’s it. Now, close your eyes again.”

 

Yaz did as she was told, seeing specks of glow under her eyelids as she waited. The Doctor continued to dance with her even then, but as soon as she felt something coming against her forehead, Yaz found her eyes quickly opening as she gasped. She wanted to focus on how close the Doctor was to her – foreheads pressed together, noses brushing – but she was too enraptured by what was happening inside her head and body.

 

She could feel something shaking her to her very core, but it was gentle and soft. Each step of her feet was set to this strange guiding rhythm, each wave sending a pleasant warmth through her. In her head, she could hear a quiet hum that would sometimes change pitch and tone, almost as if someone had greatly muffled a choir or orchestra. No wonder the Doctor was constantly mesmerised by whatever was around her, if that was what she could tune into on a regular basis. Yaz found herself humming along to the sounds in her head, unable to stop smiling as the Doctor finally opened her eyes and looked at her again. As they danced across the glowing sands, dipping their feet into the warm waters every so often, both of them hummed to the tune of the universe. Yaz couldn’t remember a time she had felt so happy and so alive, no longer concerned about her flushed cheeks or the racing of her heart. She was safe with the Doctor, and was being shown the most beautiful things. Soon though, the Doctor slowed her steps, twisting Yaz around and sliding her hand up and around to hold her ribs. Before she knew what was happening, Yaz felt her body falling backwards, the Doctor pressed against her so tightly as she used all her strength to hold her in the dip.

When their eyes met – deep brown against gold – the atmosphere changed again. The planet seemed to respond to the electricity between them, glowing harder as the music in her head soon became overrun by the loud drumming of her heart. It was Yaz who broke through, lifting her head up just enough so she could slowly brush her lips over the Doctor’s own. There was a flush of warm air against her as the Time Lord sighed, but she quickly reciprocated and took over the moment by pressing her lips down harder. Yaz all but melted into the moment, taking the hand from atop the Doctor’s shoulder and winding it around so that her fingers could curl into the nape of her neck and drag through her hair. It felt like an eternity before she was brought back up, both to stand and for air, and Yaz couldn’t help the smile on her face.

 

“You planned this, didn’t you Doctor?”

 

The Doctor too a step back, still holding onto Yaz’s hand while the other came to rest at her side rather awkwardly.

 

“Not really, no. That one’s on you.”

“Good. Because I’ve been wanting to do that for a while now. Kind of felt like the right time.”

 

Seemingly shocked by her blasé reaction, the Doctor blinked a few times before breaking out into a goofy lopsided grin. She lifted up their intertwined hands, pressing another kiss against the top of Yaz’s hand as she hummed in delight. There were plenty of other places she could show her across the beach, and with a renewed energy, the Doctor was sure she wasn’t about to forget the night ahead.

Chapter Text

Cuddles

 

“I can’t believe you’ve thrashed us again...this is unfair.”

“Look son, it’s not my fault I know how this game works. There’s logic behind what spots on the board to buy up. Besides, you chose the game. Don’t hate the player.”

“Never say that again Graham...please…”

 

Rolling her eyes and shaking her head, Yaz set about collecting up all the houses and hotels off the board. The three of them had decided to have game night without the Doctor. She had left the TARDIS in the garage and was doing some more work to the underside of it again. Then again, it was probably a good idea that the Doctor wasn’t playing with them, she was worse than Graham when it came to strategy and loopholes. Still, after three games - all going to Graham - it was nearing one in the morning and tiredness was starting to take over. Once the other two had finished their playful bickering, Ryan and Graham joined in to help tidy the board and the various game components back into the box. Yaz left the rest to Graham and his system, instead dragging Ryan with her to clear away the mugs and bowls of snacks. They filled their arms up as best they could, dumping everything on the various kitchen counters for a cleanup in the morning.

 

“You can always crash on the sofa you know, Yaz. Save walking home.”

Rubbing her eyes with the backs of her hands, Yaz laughed quietly to herself before gently jabbing Ryan in the ribs.

“Ryan SInclair, are you being chivalrous all of a sudden? Think a lady needs protecting from the dangers of the outside world? Mate, I’ve taken down blokes twice my size and then some. But thanks for the offer though, I do appreciate it.”

 

Ryan gave her a smile, which quickly deformed into a deep yawn as he slouched back against the kitchen table and laughed with her. The two of them said their goodbyes, and Yaz gave a quick hug to Graham before she left the house. Truth be told, she wasn’t exactly going home. As much as it would be nice to see her family, there was somewhere she would rather be instead. Thankfully, the air was still mild - odd for Sheffield, even in summer - and she was ready for the long walk ahead. Despite feeling like she would just drop on the spot. Yaz kept her wits about her, watching the faint twinkle of stars overhead as she walked. It was funny how something she had seen thousands of times over, and on a much grander scale, could still leave her feeling like a giddy child. The stars around home were just...special. It was nice to spend some time appreciating them. As she left the safe confines of city streets, Yaz put a spring into her step as she made her way towards the industrial estates. The streets looked different at night, especially so outside of an MI6 car, but she soon found her way to the warm glow of the TARDIS.

As expected, lit up by a welding torch throwing sparks across the tarmac, was the Doctor. Even at a distance, Yaz could see she had been working for hours. Various tools were thrown across the floor, along with several pipes and a mountain of wires. She waited a small distance away until the fireworks display had ended, whistling loudly into the quiet night air until the Doctor quickly turned on the spot. Even hidden under the welding mask, Yaz knew she would be confused. When it was pulled back, she smiled at the open mouthed stare and furrowed brows.

 

“Yaz? What’re you doing up? More to the point, what’re you doing here? I thought you’d be in bed. It’s late, right? You should be home. Or...were you with Ryan and Graham? Don’t mind me, been so lost in this I think I’ve forgotten what you said. Sorry.”

 

While the Doctor downed her tools and flung the welding mask from around her head, Yaz came closer and rocked back and forth on her heels idly. Now she was with the Doctor, she suddenly felt incredibly awkward about the whole situation. By all rights she should be back in her flat, tucked up in bed, ready to start her few days break at home. Except, there had been something bothering her, something gnawing away at her insides for the last couple of hours. Hands twisted in front of her as she felt hazel-green eyes bore into her. It was a soft and concerned look, but it still threw her off her game. All she had to do was ask...the worst that could happen would be the Doctor sending her home. She wouldn’t laugh at her...surely.

 

“Yaz?”

“Oh. I just...I was gonna go home. Game night’s done, Graham absolutely caned us at Monopoly. Worse than you do. But...you know, never mind. Doesn’t matter, it’s stupid, I’ll just-”

 

Turning slightly to walk away again, Yaz felt the Doctor reach out and take both of her hands into her own. She felt terribly warm, and a little oily from the maintenance work, but it was still the most comforting sensation in the universe. There was a warm, and inviting smile on her face as her thumbs moved back and forth over the backs of her hands and across her wrists.

 

“Nothing is stupid. You can tell me. Always.”

“Can I...stay here...with you? I just, I dunno, wanna be near you tonight.”

 

The Doctor’s head fell slightly to one side as she shook her head in acknowledgement. She ignored all of her tools on the floor and instead dragged Yaz closer to the TARDIS. When she let go of her hands, a snap of her fingers was all it took to get the doors to open. The Doctor gripped onto the bottom of the door frame and hoisted herself up inside in one swift motion. Yaz barely had time to register her moving, it was so quick and silent. Soon enough, she saw a mop of blonde hair and two arms dropped down for her to grab hold of. Smiling wide, Yaz grabbed hold of the Doctor’s arms and felt herself being dragged inside the still suspended TARDIS. Really, she had made a great decision. There was no better way to get a good night's sleep than for her to be tucked up with the Doctor wrapped around her. She felt safe, comfortable, and it felt like home to be nestled against her chest and between her arms. Perhaps she would ask for more moments like this in future.

 


 

Second Piercing

 

Yaz could see the Doctor staring. She was prone to doing it anyway and she had gotten used to it for the most part, but her eyes had been glued to her far more often than usual, and it was starting to become a little bit of a concern. Whenever she spotted the Doctor’s eyes locked on her, she would obviously look away and pretend as if nothing had happened. But four times over breakfast alone she had been caught looking, and Yaz absolutely had to find out what her problem was. Or, if she was just going insane. Once the TARDIS had landed back in Sheffield - a decidedly rocker journey than usual, even for the Doctor - Yaz seized her moment to corner her just by the doors. They were supposed to be picking up Ryan and Graham for a day trip to some far-off moon-planet jungle tour, but that changed when Yaz blocked off the door with her arms and stared straight at the very confused Time Lord who almost collided into her.

 

“Yaz? What’re you-”

“I’m not moving from here until you tell me what’s up.”

 

Looking like a lost puppy, the Doctor just continued to stare at her, edging slowly towards either side of her to try and get her to move away from the doors. She huffed and turned towards the TARDIS console as the familiar sound of mechanical laughter filled the room. At least someone was on her side, which made Yaz smile for a moment.

 

“Up with what? What’s up with what?”

Yaz couldn’t tell if the Doctor genuinely had no idea, or if she was playing her for a fool, but that didn’t stop her from pushing her back further against the doors and smirking as she heard the lock click behind her.

 

“You. What’s up with you?! You keep just...staring at me. I know you do that a lot anyway, don’t think I haven’t noticed after all this time, but lately it’s been constant! Is there something wrong with me? Do I look weird suddenly? Can you see something that I can’t, and you just won’t tell me? I feel like I’m a secret laughing stock or something, Doctor.”

Confusion slowly morphed into fear and then recognition, before the Doctor held her hands up in front of her and started to gesticulate as wildly as she shook her head.

 

“No no no no, Yaz, you’ve got it wrong! I haven’t been staring because of something bad, not at all. The opposite of that! Oh stars, I’ve got myself in a mess...look, I’m sorry. Very very sorry. I didn’t mean to make you feel bad. I tend to get hyperfixated on things very easily and then I lose track of what my body is doing, which isn’t me defending my behaviour in any way I just want to make that very clear. I just...I, um...you see...I’ve been...it’s just that your…”

The Doctor took a deep breath as she finally stopped rambling, and Yaz slowly lowered her defensive posture down so she stood in waiting.

 

“I still really really like your piercings and I want to get another one...but now I’m not fizzing with regeneration energy I’m a little...worried about it.”

 

Stepping away from the doors and over to the slowly retreating Doctor, Yaz dropped a hand on her shoulder and squeezed it gently to get her attention. She could see a blush creeping up on her face, which was a little distracting, but Yaz still smiled and raised an eyebrow questioningly.

 

“You don’t have to be worried, trust me. If you want to get something done, we can go back to my regular spot, yeah? Now, which one exactly are you after, and where? Because any of the ones that aren’t in my lobe have a different story attached to it.”

 

Slowly, the Doctor lifted a hand and moved it towards her most pierced ear. Judging by where she felt the brush of a fingertip, the interest fell on her auricle piercing. Out of all of her cartilage piercings, Yaz had to admit that it hadn’t exactly been the worst of the lot, although cleaning the ring had originally been an absolute nightmare and she had to get her mum’s help for the first week. When the Doctor settled again, Yaz turned her attention briefly to the doors and laughed as she heard the lock unclick again. Evidently, the plan with Ryan and Graham was about to be put on hold for a little while.

 

“Well Doctor, if you want an auricle piercing too...guess we better go see Anna again huh?”

“What, now? Really? You think it’ll be okay?”

“Of course. Come on, we can at least see if she’s got room today.”

 

Much to the luck - or curse - of the Doctor, there was indeed a space free for her to get a new piercing. Yaz realised that she was the one doing most of the talking again, save for the Doctor picking out a simple gold ring for her new addition before falling completely silent again. It was something that used to completely unnerve her, but considering what was about to happen it was also endearing that this was the thing that would make the Doctor nervous. She hoisted herself up onto the chair, legs dangling awkwardly above the floor as her eyes lay completely focused on the back of Anna. Yaz positioned herself at the opposite side of the nervous bundle of energy that was the Doctor, gently tapping her arm to draw her attention over.

 

“You sure you’re okay? We don’t have to go further, you can say no.”

Anna turned around at the quiet conversation, giving a smile and a nod as she held onto the piercing and the needle.

 

“N-no...I’m okay. I wanna do this. But...um...d’ya mind just…”

 

The Doctor slowly unfurled one of her hands from inside her lap and pressed it hard against the leather of the chair, and Yaz took hold of it carefully. Sweat was already building up on her palm, and she saw the Doctor flinch and tense up as Anna approached. She even screwed her eyes up tight and looked as if she had stopped breathing entirely.

 

“Now, you might hear a bit of a crunch. Or a pop. Don’t worry, nothing bad’s gonna happen. That’s just the needle. Perfectly normal and safe. Happens with all cartilage piercings. On three, I want you to take a breath in for me, okay?”

All the Doctor did was hum in response, and Yaz smiled at Anna before she lined herself up at the pre-marked dot against her ear.

 

“Ready? One, two, three.”

 

Yaz felt her hand being near crushed in the Doctor’s vice like grip as she took the breath in. The air hissed between her teeth as the needle went through, and Yaz almost swore she saw a tear roll down the Doctor’s cheek. Within a few more moments though, Anna moved away and watched as the Doctor slowly opened her eyes.

 

“Is it...is it in? Is it done?”

“Oh yeah, we’re all good. Wanna go look in the mirror?”

 

Yaz helped the Doctor down from the chair, a little surprised at how she stumbled down, but it was all worth it to see the beaming smile on her face as she looked at her brand new piercing. Now, she had two - one on each side - and Yaz had to admit that it really did suit her. Although she did have to swat the Doctor’s hands away as she tried to poke it.

 

“Don’t go irritating it! It’ll get infected. Or you’ll tear it. Go wait by the door, I’ll pay and then we can go grab you a new pack of custard creams, okay?”

“Oh, yeah. Okay. Good idea. Might need a bit of sugar actually. Both my stomachs are doing flips right now. Feels dead weird. I mean...one stomach...I only have one...don’t I? Yeah...I’ll just go over there and be quiet now…”

 

While the Doctor leant up against the sofa, staring out of the window and possibly at her own reflection, yaz paid Anna her fees and thanked her profusely for dealing with “Jane” again. Once she was done, she took hold of the Doctor’s arm and slowly guided her towards the nearest shop in order to appease her biscuit cravings.

Chapter Text

“What did you say this was again, Yaz?”

 

The Doctor looks up from the mug in her hands, a confused expression on her face. Yaz sits further back in the dining chair, breathing in deep the warm scent from her own mug before settling it down on the placemat at the table.

 

“Pumpkin spice latte. There’s no actual pumpkin in it, don’t look at me like that. It’s just...some spices all mixed up that makes you feel extra warm and happy. Sonya thinks I’m ‘basic’ for liking it. She’s the one missing out on the best tasting coffee of the year, not me.”

 

Again, the Doctor looks down at the mug, watching a trail of milky white swirl around on top of the coffee. Carefully leaning down, she takes a cursory sniff at the drink, like Yaz but with less enthusiasm. She can smell the spices - that wasn’t entirely lost on her - but she had no idea what they were. They had all blended together into some kind of new, super spice. Her brows knit together as she takes one hand away from the mug and dips a finger tentatively into the coffee, eying it carefully before dabbing her tongue against the drop. It didn’t taste like coffee anymore. She could hardly taste the half dozen sugars she had asked Yaz to put in, either. All it tasted of...was warm. It was the most bizarre thing she had experienced. At least in human terms. Countless galaxies had drinks that existed just to give you a certain feeling, rather than a taste. Sometimes a smell. Or even, ones that made you see things inside your head that made you feel happy. She was going off on a tangent. The reason she needed the coffee was to clean up the mess she had made in the library. Even she couldn’t find the right book at the best of times, and two shelves worth were currently scattered across the floor.

 

“If you don’t like it, you don’t have to drink it. I just remember you looked puzzled when I said pumpkin spice yesterday.”

“That’s ‘cause I thought you were drinking pumpkins, Yaz. Why say a word with something and not have it mean anything?!”

“Like...sonic screwdriver?”

 

Yaz couldn’t help but smirk and snicker to herself as the Doctor’s face fell for a moment, before she scowled.

 

“Okay, fine. Fair point. ‘S not fair though. Not really. My sonic’s done nothing to you.”

 

With her grumbling over, the Doctor smiled back and took a sip of the coffee. Now she thought about it, and had more of it in her mouth, it wasn’t that bad. It was like mulled wine, except without any alcohol. No grape taste. Or, maybe it was nothing like mulled wine at all. It didn’t matter. It was nice. It made her feel nice. Unlike Yaz, who was taking slow sips every once in a while, the Doctor’s eyes lit up at the revelation of enjoyed sensations, and the coffee was gone in a near instant. She dropped the mug down onto the table with a satisfied huff, a wide smile on her face as Yaz looked on with almost abject horror. The coffee was maybe only a few minutes old - at best - meaning it was still far too hot for any kind of consumption. How had the Doctor not scalded her tongue clean off? It didn’t matter anyway, and there was no chance for her to say anything, before the Doctor was bouncing up on her feet and waving her off.

 

“Thanks for the coffee, Yaz! That’ll really give me the buzz I need to get the library all tidied up before the TARDIS has a moan at me. Again. Give a shout if you need anything, yeah? Laters!”

 

As the Doctor stood in the doorway of the kitchen-come-diner, she paused, turning around with another confused look.

 

“No, definitely not using that again. Laters? No. See ya!”

 

Just like that, with a swish of her coat, she was gone. Leaving Yaz, half bewildered, holding on to her coffee and wondering what on earth had just transpired. Days on the TARDIS without anywhere to go were just like staying at home, but with a lot more things to do. Ryan had vanished into the VR games room, and she was Half tempted to join him. Unless he was playing another COD-like game. That in virtual reality gave her too many looks back at the killer androids. Never again. She was much more into the life simulators, ones where she could just feed some animals and grow some fruit while looking at nice scenery. Relaxing games. Her life was enough adventure as it was. Her other option was to go and find Graham, but she actually had no idea where he had gone. Both the pool room and the greenhouse were much too far away from the kitchen, on opposite ends of the TARDIS almost, and even with the ship playing fair for once, it was going to take a lot of time to track him down. Then again, she remembered him saying he wanted a bit of alone time, and she respected that. There were days where she would just hide in her room and listen to music while reading a book. Forgetting she was hurtling through a time vortex or spinning around some planet.

 

She needed to finish her coffee anyway, first.

 

Sliding down the chair and crossing one leg over the other, Yaz pulled out her phone and decided to see what her family was up to back home. She made a point never to check her phone excessively, because the Doctor had set it just so that any future events were off limits, no matter how far ahead in time they were. It gave her something to occupy her mind too, and give the illusion of normality. Scrolling through the pages, she saw Sonya posting a heap of photos about her latest hang out with her friends - a whole cluster of around eight people total - all trying to get into the same small photographic window. She smiled, liked them, had half a mind to leave a playful remark before thinking better of it. Years ago, she would have been jealous. A small part of her still was, in a way. Yaz had never been one to have massive groups of friends to manage. Then again, she barely had friends full stop. But she had something much better now; a whole family. A second family, who she went on the most amazing adventures with. A second family who loved her for who she was. Not that her own family didn’t, but there were a lot of cobwebs there and skeletons in a closet she had yet to clear out with them. Though, being with the Doctor had made it easier.

 

Yaz wasted her minutes long enough to finish her coffee, sliding her phone back into her pocket before gathering up both mugs from the table. She carefully took them to the sink and sat them in the basin, before turning the hot tap on and rinsing out the remaining swirls of milk foam and ground spices. When it came to dinner, later, she would wash them up properly with the rest of the plates and things. It was her turn on duty later, anyway. If Ryan had his way, they’d be getting something from the takeaway equivalent of Kerblam, and she was fine with that. Though, how intergalactic takeout worked was beyond her. Half the time, she wondered if the Doctor was making it up and she would land the TARDIS somewhere close to a restaurant, just to ‘pretend to be a house’ or something like that. No way there were people flying around space delivering food. No chance at all. With the mugs pushed onto the countertop for later, she couldn’t help but wonder how the Doctor was getting on. She knew she was clearing the library, but considering how scatterbrained she could be, there was no way it was getting done. Even if she had downed a strong coffee and copious amounts of sugar. Yaz had offered to help, beforehand, but had been brushed off in the usual casual manner.

 

‘Maybe I should make sure she hadn’t just caused another big mess…’

 

The last time the Doctor had been left to tidy a room up, there had been padlocks on the door for the next week. Though, nothing came close to the chaos of the flooded rainforest room when she had accidentally set the sprinklers to ‘monsoon’ setting.

 

‘Where’s the library again?’

 

Hiding her hands inside the fluffy sleeves of her jacket, Yaz set off from the kitchen and down the winding halls of the TARDIS. She brushed her arms along the hexagonal patterns that lined the walls, feeling the hum of the living ship under her feet as she walked. Sometimes, it would be strange walking the halls, as she could be acutely aware of the TARDIS’ presence and how she was being guided around. Sometimes, she would inexplicably find herself exactly where she wanted to go, in record time. Today was somewhere a mix of the two, Yaz turning down two different narrow corridors before she recognised the walls changing from a mottled gold to an antiqued brass. The library was in an ‘older’ part of the ship, so the Doctor had told her, and the hexagon markings turned into strange giant bumps in the walls. Domes, sticking out, with metal grates on the lower half of the walls. It reminded her a little of the Dalek casing, now she thought about it. She also wondered just how old exactly the TARDIS was, if her rooms were divided up by ages. Their rooms were in the newest part of the ship, whereas Yaz had seen the walls around the Doctor’s room constantly changing. Still, she shook her head and hummed as she drew closer to the pillared archway that signaled the entrance to the library, pausing for a moment at the sounds.

 

Or, lack thereof.

 

She couldn’t hear anything, which was unusual if the Doctor was indeed tidying up. If she wasn’t clattering about, then she was either singing or talking to herself. Yaz couldn’t hear anything at all, save for the hiss of steam in the pipes and the odd creak and groan of metal. Slow steps carried her into the library, toes hitting a few books just on the way in. While there wasn’t as much mess as she had expected, the Doctor clearly hadn’t made much of a dent in the work she was supposed to be doing. Yaz looked around the room, at the half-piled stacks of books and papers scattered around. Some shelves had been partially filled, or maybe that was how they had been left to begin with. More curiously, however, there was no sign of the Doctor at all. That, coupled with the silence, was a little worrying for Yaz.

 

“Doctor?”

 

It could be that, maybe, she had wandered off. Gone to do something else. Even then, Yaz knew she would have heard something along the way. Surely. Or, the TARDIS would have just taken her straight to the Doctor. She had to be in the library, somewhere. Yaz continued to walk through the room, looking between the masses of shelves that stood tall and lined the walls and made many channels of travel for her to wind through. No wonder the Doctor always complained about never being able to find anything, the room was a maze. And she had thought that the wardrobe room was bad enough. At least in there, she could see over all the railings. The bookshelves reached the ceiling, the room only lit by a mass of flickering candles on a chandelier above her. Following the trail of chaos through the shelves, Yaz eventually made her way to a central ‘room’ between all the other shelves, where most of the books lay abandoned on the floor. It took a few moments of looking around, before Yaz noticed something out of place.

 

“Doctor?”

 

More in the centre, with two end tables either side, was a long sofa. It was made of patchwork fabrics, of all different types, in varying shades of purple and blue. Each end had a longer seat, somewhere to stretch the legs while reading. Except, that wasn’t what was being used at that moment. Slap bang in the middle, with one leg dangling precariously off the edge, was the Doctor. Or, it looked like her at least. Yaz could only see a round shape, covered by coat and hood. The Doctor was curled up tight, face buried in the crook of her elbow, not making a sound or a movement of any kind. Although, Yaz saw her foot twitch occasionally, boots on the floor and leaving her in nothing but thick striped socks. Carefully making her way closer, Yaz called her again.

 

“Doctor?”

 

Crouching down in front of the unresponsive Time Lord, Yaz leant in closer as she heard...something.

 

“Mmm...pmpskn…”

 

She was asleep, she had to be. The only time the Doctor mumbled like that was when she was in a very deep sleep. Her words sounded a lot more slurred and slow than usual too, and she had to admit she had no idea what she was trying to say. If it was even words at all.

 

“Bks...gts tdy...spsy…”

 

Nope, no clue.

 

Actually, Yaz had to wonder when the Doctor had last gone to sleep. Every morning she had woken up for the last week, there was already some commission happening. Either the Doctor had already set the coordinates to some planet or time and landed them, or she was endlessly explaining the various different places they could go, before being interrupted by a warning signal or the TARDIS just going somewhere else. When the Doctor had slept, she seemed a lot more calm. More often than not, she would forgo the coffee and sugar and sit down for breakfast with them. It was a strange little ritual she had developed. Clearly, the Doctor had finally run down from the buzz of both stimulants, and had just crashed out. Whether or not she had even made an attempt at tidying before doing so, Yaz couldn’t say. Whatever the case, she looked peaceful. Even if Yaz couldn’t see under the shadow of her hood. But the library was no place to be having a deep sleep. Not how the Doctor was currently squashed together.

 

“I’ll be back in a second.”

“Sky...msty hr…”

 

Too adorable.

 

Yaz was gone from the room for some ten minutes, during which time the Doctor had completely stretched out her one leg and part of her face was a little more visible to the dimly lit room. When Yaz came back, she had something swaddled up in her arms. She had dragged her fleece blanket from out of her wardrobe - grey faux fur with a thick wooly lining inside - and was struggling a little to get herself around the books with some of it dragging on the floor haphazardly. Still, she managed to get through without injury, spreading it out in her arms and draping it over the Doctor in one large swing. She took the time to tuck one side underneath her, against the back of the sofa, before crouching down again and smiling as the Doctor curled back in on herself.

 

“Wmr...sfzy…”

“If you needed to rest, Doctor, you should have just said something.”

 

As the Doctor all but disappeared under the blanket, Yaz leant forward and pressed a quick kiss to the top of the Time Lord’s hood. She knew that the Doctor wouldn’t remember, or even realise she had done it, and really Yaz preferred it that way. Maybe another time she would be more open. Until then, she let the Doctor to her dreaming.

Chapter Text

'They won't understand.'

'You're just making it up.'

'You're safer inside, don’t ruin things to be selfish.'

 

She wasn't sure why she was nervous, not really. There were countless reasons why, but only on the surface, and only from outside sources. Mostly her own head. But also things she had seen from the media and online. All of it added up to a gnawing feeling deep inside her chest. Yaz was tired, she had had a long day at work, and there she was. Just sat inside her car in the parking yard of her flat. Staring into nothing. Frozen. Fingers gripped tighter to the steering wheel as she took in a deep breath and closed her eyes. It had been so much easier before. With Ryan and Graham. Her second family. A place completely free of all judgement. She had bonded with them even more - especially Graham - and it had been the kick she had needed to go on and do what she was about to do. Although, it didn't take the fear away entirely. As she sat in the car, Yaz could see all the times she had been so close to talking. To telling her parents and Sonya, the thing she had avoided for so long. For a while it had been fear. Then apathy. Life got too busy, until one day she forgot. Except she could see a moment in her head, heard the words of her mum. Quite frankly, it haunted her. She needed to be brave and get it out there, before any more questions came about.

 

"You can do this."

 

How hard could it be?

 

Unclipping her seatbelt, Yaz slowly made her way out of the car and locked the door behind her as she walked to the flats. It was cold, dark, pretty much a miserable evening. Coupled with how tired she was, things were bound to end in tears, one way or the other. She wrapped her arms around her chest, tugging the fluffy jacket tighter around her body as she walked up the first set of stairs. Her eyes followed the forever broken light flickering on the first level, occasionally glancing out into the outside world as she carried on higher. Sometimes, when she was home on Earth, she would remember the incident at her flats. Where her mum worked. The moment that started her thinking so much. It was a strange feeling, remembering it, especially today. Had she really been travelling with the Doctor for so long now? So much had happened, so much her family had little to no idea of. Yaz wanted to tell them, of course.

 

She just never had.

 

By the time she made it to her level, Yaz found her pace slowing considerably. She had been running for so long, trying to push her feelings deep down inside, promising to deal with them later. She had waited days, weeks, months now. Did nothing. Continued to push and bury and ignore. Whenever the feelings started to come up, when she could see her eyes wandering and a longing start to burn in her chest, she distracted herself. Sometimes it was music - it had mostly been work before the Doctor - sometimes it was taking her frustrations out on the punching bag in the gym. Whatever it was, it only served to make things a lot harder and she knew she was coming apart at the seams the more she looked at herself in the mirror. Already, the cold sting of tears started to form in her eyes, but she brushed them aside with the sleeves of her jacket as she reached her front door. With another deep, shaking breath, Yaz pulled the keys from her pocket and slid one into the lock. With a twist and click, the door was pushed open and she silently slid inside. As she turned around from closing the door, she paused in the small hallway.

 

“Doctor? What...what are you doing here?”

 

A head of blonde hair bobbed up from the back of the sofa, coat strewn across the back as she smiled.

 

“Hiya Yaz! Sonya sent a message to Ryan saying that their electronics were on the fritz, and he told me, so I came to have a look. Doesn’t look too bad, nothing I can’t fix. Though there’s a lot of tape on your wires. Need to replace them. How was work?”

 

Blinking slow, Yaz opened her mouth to say something, but found the words stuck in her throat. Having the Doctor around was just going to make it so much harder. Why did she have to be there now? At least she was broken off by her mum walking out of the kitchen with two cups of tea in her hands.

 

“Don’t mind Yaz, Doctor. She doesn’t say much until she’s had a tea. Think it helps her wind down. Come on, we can go sit in the back for a little bit.”

 

Yaz gave a nod, shrinking back a little into her jacket before taking the offered tea and following her mum to the back room of the flat. She liked the snug, it was small and cozy and it was where her Nani used to always tell her stories before she went to bed. The one armchair was taken by her mum, while Yaz took the other under the window and clung the mug to her chest as she watched her mum take a sip.

 

“How was work today, sweetheart?”

 

Shrugging her shoulders a little, Yaz took a sip of her own tea, sighing quietly into the faint plume of steam.

 

“Same old. Nothing really changes, don’t think it will for a while if I’m honest. I don’t see why they can’t put me on actual cases already. I’m out of probation now. If I wanted to be stuck going door to door dealing with bird break-ins or flat tires, I’d have chosen to be a traffic warden or something. It’s like they don’t trust me, or something.”

 

Najia nodded slowly, carefully scanning Yaz over before putting her mug down on the window ledge. Her hands fell flat in her lap, a strange attempt at an open posture that Yaz recognised all too well. It was the one her mum got into before she started to ask questions. Questions that - most of the time - Yaz didn’t want to answer. She could feel herself getting defensive already, but forced the tension out of her shoulders long enough to slouch in the chair and cling tighter to the mug. There was a silence between them, for a time Yaz couldn’t even count, but it was different. It didn’t feel charged, heated. It was softer, calmer, something that Yaz hadn't felt since she was a child. She was so used to the undercurrent of tension between her and the rest of her family, and she wasn’t sure which atmosphere she preferred at the moment. There was an instant flinch reaction as she saw her mum open her mouth.

 

“Yaz, is something bothering you?”

 

Her mum spoke softly, softer than she had in a long time, and Yaz felt bad for how her body started to close in on itself on instinct.

 

“No...why?”

“Because, you didn’t seem too happy to see the Doctor here. Has something happened? If so, I can tell her to come back another time. Or, not at all.”

 

Had she really been that off with the Doctor? She thought she had acted rather normally, given the circumstances of shock. Yaz shook her head, taking a longer drink from her tea before putting her mug on the ledge as well.

 

“Just surprised to see her. Didn’t think it’d be until the weekend, that’s all.”

 

She watched as her mum studied her again, brows pushing together before she closed her eyes and let out a sigh.

 

“It’s just. You usually speak of her so highly. Like you miss her, when you’re here. And I’m not even sure what you get up to with her, especially after...you know.”

 

When Najia opened her eyes again, Yaz swore that she looked upset.

 

“I just want you to be happy, Yasmin. You seem happy with the Doctor. But then things like this happen, and I'm not sure what to think. Especially because you go off so much, and don’t say anything about it. I know you said to me that there’s nothing going on-”

“There’s not.”

“-but what else am I meant to think? Yaz, I want you to talk to me. I can see you looking down at the floor like you don’t want to talk to me. But there’s something going on and...I don’t understand why you can’t tell me what that is. Do you think I’m going to be angry with you? Upset? Because whatever it is, I promise I’ll understand you sweetheart.”

 

Yaz didn’t know what to say. She could feel the tears starting to well again, tried to hide her face in the collar of her jacket, but it was too much. The tight feeling in her chest came back. All day, she had wanted to say something. It was her chance. Why was she so scared? Yaz dragged her knees up to her chest and turned her head to the door, tried to focus on the sound of the Doctor mumbling over wires in the distance. Except she couldn’t.

 

“You...you’re gonna...h-hate…”

 

Her tongue felt twice the size, eyes fogging over with tears as she tried and failed to swallow the lump in her throat. She didn’t notice her mum getting out of the armchair and kneeling in front of her, nor feel the arms coming to scoop her up as she pressed her face into the crook of her neck.

 

“Yasmin, I could never hate you. You don’t have to say anything you don’t want to. I think I already know. And I promise you, I promise you sweetheart, nobody here hates you. Nobody ever will. If anyone does, they’ll have me to answer to. There’s nothing wrong with what you’re feeling, okay? I just want you to be happy. If that means you’re happy with the Doctor, then that’s fine by me. Just be safe.”

 

Sniffling and shaking, Yaz pulled away from her mum’s strong grip and looked at her. The tears just weren’t falling, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t relieved.

 

“How d-did you…”

“I’ve been thinking. Since the hotel. You were defensive when I asked about the Doctor, and I admit, I really didn’t think it thought. I backpedalled, and when I mentioned Ryan...somehow things were a lot easier. I figured it was just because everything was so stressful, but then I thought some more. There was a look you always used to give your sister, whenever she mentioned you hanging out with girls at school. Or your clothes. You aren’t good at hiding the smile on your face when you talk about the Doctor, or how your eyes light up. I can see you trying, though. If she;’s your girlf-”

“What?!”

 

With wide eyes, Yaz looked at her mum, mouth agape, which in turn drove Najia to equal confusion. Both of them looked at each other for a moment, entirely lost.

 

“You...you two still aren’t seeing each other?”

“No! Of course not! I mean...I don’t think  we are...I’d know if we were...right?”

 

Yaz was let go on and Nagia stood up, shaking her head with a smile and trying hard to hold back a laugh. Yaz got up from her own chair, crossing her arms over her chest indignantly.

 

“What?”

“Oh, nothing. You’re just as bad as your father, you know. I can’t tell you how long it was before he noticed I was trying to get his attention. Actually, the Doctor is just as bad. I don’t think she would notice, even with a neon sign above your head. I guess you are suited for each other, in that way.”

 

Turning her head towards the door, Yaz looked back at her mum, unable to stop a smile coming onto her face as well. As they both looked at each other, they started to laugh, and Yaz came forward to wrap her arms around her mum and sigh softly into her chest.

 

“I feel so stupid right now.”

“You don’t have to. I might not understand what it’s like to have another interest like you do, but I’d like to think I understand my eldest daughter enough to know when she’s hurting inside.”

 

Najia pressed a kiss to the top of Yaz’s head, squeezing her gently before both of them stood to attention from a call outside the room.

 

“Aha! Sorted! Look at that electricity go! Oh, I’m good at this. Well done, Doctor.”

“That was fast.”

“She’s good like that, mum.”

 

With a knowing hum, Najia let go of Yaz and picked up the two mugs of tea from the window ledge. With a nudge of her head, she took Yaz out of the little snug and back into the main room of the flat. The Doctor stood by the television, sleeves rolled up past her elbows and a beaming grin on her face as she vibrantly gestured to all the cables that connected to various appliances.

 

“Even knocked your wifi speed up a couple notches. Should keep your dad happy when he’s conspiracy hopping. And Sonya, with her snap-chatting. That’s what it’s called, isn’t it? The thing with the photos? I- wait...are you alright, Yaz? You’re looking a little flushed. Did something happen? Is this a bad time for m-”

“No, Doctor. It’s quite alright. Thank you for your help. Yaz has just had a bad day at work, and I think she could use some cheering up. Isn’t that right, Yaz?”

Mum…”

 

Yaz hissed through gritted teeth at the sly grin her mum gave before taking the mugs into the kitchen and completely ignoring the protests of her daughter. She had no space to reply anyway, or time to laugh, as the second her back was turned the Doctor strode over and was looking Yaz over from top to bottom. If she wasn’t already feeling embarrassed for over-reacting, being under the scrutiny of the Time Lord certainly didn’t help her case.

 

“Oh, that’s not good. Can’t have Yaz having a bad day. Why don’t I go down the road and grab us a bag of chips? Oh! We can watch the rest of that movie too. You know, the one with the colourful emotions. I love Joy, she’s my favourite. Be back in a sec!”

 

The Doctor grabbed her coat from the back of the sofa and strode towards the door, in and out of the flat like a blur. Leaving Yaz standing there with the worst case of whiplash she had experienced yet. She turned to the kitchen and walked over to her mum, who had turned around and was leaning against the kitchen counter with an even bigger smile on her face.

 

“You might want to finish your tea before that, Yaz. it’s getting cold.”

“Don’t act like you didn’t just enact some awful evil plan.”

 

Really, she couldn’t be mad at her mum though, it was impossible. She was also endlessly grateful that the Doctor was so concerned about her welfare. So, she found another empty part of the counter and drank her tea with her mum. The silence around them was different again, but Yaz liked it. She was filled with relief, a little trepidation, and content. Her mum was okay. She knew. She didn’t even have to say anything. Annoyingly she was still trying to put an oar in, but it was in her best interest. She liked the Doctor, a lot. Yaz had been hiding those feelings just as long as the rest of them, and was almost ashamed of how she had fallen for someone who was completely unavailable most of the time. Though, the Doctor was eager to cheer her up. Her mum had seen something there - maybe another thing she had been avoiding - and set it into motion. When she had finished her tea and left her mug by the sink, Yaz felt her mum come behind her and push her gently towards her room.

 

“I’ll make sure Sonya doesn’t bother you. And that your father doesn’t put his foot in it. Again. Enjoy yourself, Yaz. You deserve to be happy. Both of you do.”

 

Najia was right.

She deserved to be happy.

Chapter Text

How long had she been running on empty for, now? How often had she stared in the mirror, and not truly recognised the person in the mirror looking back at her? Too long. Far too long. There were bags under her eyes, dark circles that looked like space itself. The lines in her face seemed deeper somehow, more pronounced against a sea of freckles and oil smudges. Unkempt hair pooled around her shoulders, half-browning in the dim light of her room, all frayed ends and fried spots from electrical outages she more than likely caused herself. Slim fingers tugged at a section of hair, felt some fall away in her hands, watched the strands drop to the floor as she quietly laughed to herself. She could hear her fam, in her head, skirting around the subject. Not so directly asking if she was okay, but still attempting to do something. A small part of her wanted the direct approach, someone to force her to rest or even to take care of her. Just for a moment. For a brief period of time. A little pause to rest, to breathe, to recover. To heal. That was what she wanted more than anything.

 

Wiping the oil spots from her cheek, she sniffled softly before pulling the comfort of her coat further up her neck. Hands in her pockets, she ventured from her solitary study,  wandering the halls of the TARDIS with her eyes closed. She knew the way like the back of her hands, like the roads of her veins and nerves. There was nothing on her ship that could surprise her, not that the TARDIS would ever do anything out of malice. Especially now. There was a deep hum of concern in the air, swirling around her, tring to break through the strange barrier she had concocted against the outside world. There was a tug in her mind, a call to sleep, but it was one that she ignored. Again. Again. Again. Mindlessly she walked, twisting and turning her way through gold clad corridors, boots setting a timely rhythm against the metal grates. One. Two. One. Two. One-

 

The Doctor opened her eyes, looked at where she had ended up, found herself smiling ever so slightly. The pull of muscles, the twitch of her jaw, it was almost foreign these days. Of course the TARDIS would bring her to the lounge. Of course the TARDIS would drag her into the arms of the people who wanted nothing more than to see her okay. She wanted to walk away, go somewhere else, follow the strange calling in her body that was always telling her; ‘run’. How many years had she ran for now, though? How often had she hidden away behind a facade of merriment and wonder? Her hands twitched inside her coat pockets, one set of fingers brushing against her sonic. It was cold, but somehow still warm at the same time. Relatable. Dull eyes looked up to the ceiling as she let out a weary sigh.

 

“You want me to go in...don’t you?”

 

There was a series of beeps and whines from down the corridor, just loud enough for her to hear, and just enough to make the Doctor laugh again. The internal pull was still tugging at her chest, drawing her hearts closer to the door, and it was almost impossible to ignore the overwhelming blanket of warmth that suddenly surrounded her.

 

“Okay...for you. For them.”

 

‘For yourself, Doctor.’

 

Taking one hand out of her pocket, the Doctor lay her palm against the door, sucking in a sharp breath as she pushed against it. She could hear the static hum of a just turned on television, and felt three sets of eyes look up from the screen as she hung limp in the doorway. Graham was half way to putting a disc into the movie projector, wrapped up in a plush grey dressing down over check pyjamas and dark red slippers. Ryan was almost hugging a giant bowl of popcorn and skittles mixed together, baggy sweatpants and a jumper hanging loose around him, blanket over his shoulders as he perched on an armchair. Yaz was almost cocooned in a thick duvet, a plate of biscuits on her lap and the hint of striped trousers peeking under the floral print of the sheet. The Doctor smiled weakly and waved her other hand.

 

“Hiya Fam. Do you mind...mind if I join you? I’m not feeling too good.”

 

Two fingers tapped at her forehead, a vague signal she had worked on for the days when words were just too much. Graham quickly loaded the disc into the projector and made his way over, opening his arms out and gesturing.

 

“Come on, Doc. You don’t have to ask. Go get on the sofa with Yaz, I was just about to get the kettle on. Be back in a flash.”

 

Turning on his heels, he looks at Ryan with a stern gaze.

 

“Do not start the movie without me. I won’t be long.”

“I won’t geez. D’you want some of this popcorn, Doctor? Better have a handful before I demolish the lot in the time it takes Gramps to put the kettle on.”

 

The Doctor nodded slowly as she let Graham pass, pausing again before she entered the room fully. It felt weird to still be in her ‘regular’ clothes while her Fam were all casual and comfortable. But really, she felt the most at home in what she wore day to day. Anything else was a little bit...too vulnerable for her tastes. Still, she slid the coat from her arms and bundled it underneath one as she took a handful of the sweet mix from Ryan’s bowl with a tired smile.

 

“Thank you. Is there room under that duvet for me, too?”

 

Turning her attention to Yaz, and dropping a few of the skittles in her mouth, she gestured at the duvet with her elbow and watched as Yaz quickly unfurled herself and opened one of the sides up to her. Careful to not drop her popcorn onto the sofa, nor lose track of her coat, the Doctor squeezed herself into the offered space and sank into the cushions as Yaz draped the other side of the duvet over her. She shuffled around for a moment, pressing herself up against the radiating warmth of Yaz and smiled.

 

“Thanks. What’re you watching tonight?”

“Not sure, Graham just picked a disc at random, I don’t think it even had a label on. It’s from the easy watch section though. Maybe it’ll be another animated one.”

 

The Doctor nodded again, slowly placing single bits of popcorn into her mouth as she listened to Ryan and Yaz talk about something from their primary school days. Really, she wasn’t even fully aware of how the conversation came about, and swore blind Yaz had been talking to her only a second ago. It didn’t matter, not really, because she felt an arm wrap around her waist and fingers squeeze at her side gently. It was perfect. Just the kind of moment she wanted. She continued to space out until Graham came back and started to hand the mugs of tea around.

 

“Right then, shall we get this started? All nice and cozy over there, Doc?”

 

With her hands now holding her mug, coat tucked between her knees, the Doctor nodded, a contented smile on her face as Graham reached over for the remote and hit play. Having Yaz next to her, being surrounded by her Fam, safe and secure inside the duvet nest...the Doctor could allow herself a moment of calm. Some peace. To finally accept - just for a second - that she was loved. Cared for. It was simply perfect.