Yasmin Khan couldn’t believe the state the TARDIS console room was in. More to the point, she couldn’t believe she had taken time out of her day off to check in on her friend and mentor as she fumbled her way through the TARDIS wardrobe, leaving piles of discarded clothes laying across the floor, some had even found their way onto the centre columns.
Yaz gasped as her keen sense of smell starting picking up whiffs of something burning, she kicked aside some fur coats to reach the source of the smoke that was forming.
The Doctor’s head peered out the small changing room, catching a glimpse of Yaz’s activities.
“Here, careful with that, they’re the latest fashions from Spyradon” The Doctor spoke,
“You’ve left the iron on. Again, it’s burning a hole in one of your shirts”
“I know, it’s all by design, brilliant isn’t it?”
“No it’s not brilliant, that’s a perfectly fine looking shirt and it’s ruined now, what were you thinking?”
“Depends, I do a lot of thinking, like whether or not Graham’s kept his sights on the schedule”
“And what do you mean by that?” Yaz asked, her arms folded, tapping one of them with an index finger rather frantically. Her patience running thinner and thinner.
“Tell me he knows when the Hatton Road bus is due?”
“7: 39…and no, Doctor, that’s not in the morning, how many times have I told you not to go by military time?”
“I can’t keep count of those times, they slip in between the cracks of history, I stick more closely to those”
“Doctor, he’s not going to forget the schedules. He used to be a driver remember? He keeps tabs on all the timetables, even now; it’s a hobby between him and his mates”
“It’s just; we’re doing this all his way this time, no reliance on this old snog box”
Yaz broke out into an uncontrollable giggle.
“That one didn’t come from me, it came from a friend, and it’s quite a fetching title at this stage in our little drama together” The Doctor replied.
“You shouldn’t treat your dates like they’re a constant drama” Yaz insisted.
“Everything in my life is a drama, I’m not wired to think any way differently…life is so rich with complexity, even the simplest things follow convoluted rules and restrictions…take this restaurant we’re going to, yeah? Black tie…where am I going to find a tie at such short notice? A chap called Turlough wore out pretty much all of them back when he travelled with me. Only time he didn’t have any on was when he headed off back to Trion”
Yaz shared with her friend some words of wisdom, which she had meticulously formed during this phase of The Doctor’s ranting. Perhaps being around her for so long had also helped piece together both the right temper and fluidity of this advice.
“Everything is a process, the point is to enjoy yourself when you sort all that out, then you can look back on all this worry, all this drama if you will, and laugh about it with Graham when the two of you have dinner. Drama makes good conversations, you’ll be at it all evening, trust me”
The Doctor emerged from the dressing room chambers, Yaz reacted with some surprise, she also felt like she shouldn’t be all that shocked, but her mind was drifting more in favour of the situation presenting itself within an hour’s time for the Doctor and Graham.
“Are you…are you really going out like that?”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“Nothing it’s just…so typically you. I thought you’d strive to be a bit more…feminine for once, you know, so you wouldn’t have to worry so much about black tie”
Yaz’s phone started ringing; she took a moment to answer it.
“Hello? Yes, oh…oh of course, yeah, she’ll be on her way shortly. Just for FOMO, what’s exactly the time right now? 6:55? And is the schedule still good for you two? Yeah, yeah I see…ok, not bad, I’ll let her know. Yes…yes, I know she has a time machine, that doesn’t mean she keeps track of any on odd occasions”
Yaz switched the phone off and turned back to The Doctor.
“That was him?” The Doctor asked.
“That was him, don’t worry, if you make it to where he is, you’ll be early” Yaz assured her.
“What did he say about the schedule?”
“The bus will be running two minutes late”
The Doctor punched the air with a sense of triumph.
“Ah, so the schedule couldn’t keep track of HIM, that’s better, I like it when time becomes your enemy, gives you another reason to head on out there and make yourself it’s master”
Yaz rolled her eyes.
Fifteen minutes later, The Doctor announced her arrival at Graham O’Brien’s house with a firm knock on the front door. Graham swiftly answered, and, to the Doctor’s delight, she found him wearing a most fetching tuxedo, a velvet black tie tucked into his coat.
To his own surprise, he found The Doctor was wearing a matching tuxedo and shirt
“Here I am, all good and proper. Shall we?”
Graham gave the Doctor a little bit of the soft-shoe shuffle at the door.
Graham also noticed The Doctor’s bow tie looked somewhat displaced
“Your bow is looking a little crooked there; here let me sort you out”
His hands reached out to adjust the bow tie, the Doctor allowed him, humming a couple of musical notes to herself, all slightly out of key, but in her head sounded like blissful release…relief from all that earlier pressure.
“Mind asking me what compelled you to grab that?”
“You said it was black tie. Couldn’t find one lying about the place, figured the coolest thing I could find would suffice”
“Well, who am I to argue? We’ve all got to bring a little flavour to a restaurant”
The Doctor giggled.
“There, good as new” he said as he finished adjusting the bow tie, poking The Doctor on the nose with the tip of a middle finger.
The Doctor tucked in her lip and closed her eyes briefly, allowing herself to revel in the ever decreasing pressure. Around Graham, the drama just all seemed to wash away.
She also let out what Graham could distinctly identify as a mischievous chuckle, almost as if she was sharing a private joke to herself.
“What’s tickling those ribs of yours Doc?” Graham asked.
The Doctor wrapped her arms snugly around his neck, their two powerful and thunderstruck eyes matching.
She knew Graham wouldn’t get what she meant, and caring little if he did. He didn’t know every story, she was just thankful he had become the latest chapter.
“Let’s just say it’s a good thing we aren’t going to church…”