The console room is beginning to feel more and more like home each time Yasmin Khan steps on board for another adrenaline-fueled adventure with her new best friends. So much so, from the minute she gets back home to Sheffield she can't think about anything other than hopping back inside and flying - or sometimes falling - away.
Her life with the Doctor, Graham and Ryan is more than anything she could have dreamed of. Sure, she might risk her life just a touch more often than she would at home, but she thrives on the adrenaline it elicits. It's addictive but so, so much fun.
Even the TARDIS has taken a liking to her, according to the Doctor, so when she wonders in seeking more adventures, it greets her with a soft, whirring hum. Graham and Ryan are nowhere to be found on this occasion, to her surprise, however the mess of blonde hair she calls the Doctor can be found ambling along the corridor towards her, adjusting the cuffs of her coat. Only now does Yaz spot the violet lining of her sleeves, adding it to the list of details she loves about the Doctor's outfit. It's growing on her, that much she must admit.
"Yaz!" She all but beams, rounding the console and dragging her into one of those enthusiastic hugs she's fast growing accustomed to. Their height difference isn't enough to stop the blonde sweeping her arms around her neck, smelling of stars and earth and making Yaz feel too warm inside not for it to mean anything. Right now, she doesn't want her to let go.
Eventually, though, she does, however she keeps their proximity the same. "Apparently I'm a hugger now. Eyebrows would be so disappointed. Anyway! Apparently, Graham and Ryan are busy today, although they wouldn't say why. S'a bit strange, come to think of it. Ah, well. Seems it's just you and I for now, Yaz, but don't worry, I have the perfect place in mind. You'll love it." She idly toys with the tips of Yasmin's fingers, leaving the dark-haired woman to slowly melt from the inside out.
It doesn't last long, though, as always with the Doctor. She's full of fleeting glances and chaste displays of affection and easy charm. It's very easy for someone to fall for her, Yaz decides, mostly because she already has. Hence why her words only register a few long moments later, earning a half-dazed "Sure" in response.
"Everything alrigh', Yaz? You've gone all pink and quiet - not to say you're usually loud! Or annoying! Wait, I didn't need to say that. Why would I say that? Okay, I'm gonna' stop talking now. Sorry."
The tension breaks when Yasmin stifles amused laughter into her palm, eyes dancing with humor. It's the Doctor's new favourite look on her, alongside wonder and awe and that sleepy smile she gives her before she retires to her room for the night.
"Where's this place you have in mind, then? Please don't tell me it's another junk yard." She questions, popping a brow.
"No, no. I promise, no more junkyards... at least not for now." She absently lifts a hand to her side in memory, which Yaz notices with a pained smile. The blast had taken a toll on them all, but the Doctor took the brunt of its impact. Of course, she did. At times like this, Yaz is grateful she's able to read people so well, but that doesn't make her wish any less that the Doctor would be more open and less disregarding of her own welfare. "It's just the two of us, so I'm taking you on a date, Yasmin Khan. That's still what people call it, right? When two people hang out together?"
"Well - I mean, yes and no. But it's usually when they're - y'know, seeing each-"
"There we go! I thought so." The Time lady cuts her off before she can finish, already beginning the process of piloting her ship. She pulls a lever to start up the main engines, giving Yaz such an enthusiastic grin that her previous statement falls to the back of her mind. She reaches out to take hold of the console when the ship rumbles and tremors beneath her feet; how the Doctor manages to keep her balance is beyond her.
"Wait - where are we going? You didn't say." Yaz chides, though her best friend's excitement only encourages her own.
"Bolaria, the only planet in this universe which is entirely inhabited by royalty. They practically own the place, by now. There's these gardens, Yaz, that are like nothing you've ever seen before. The trees are so tall they reach the second layer of atmosphere around the planet. Fancy that?" The Time Lady delivers the lines with such passion that Yaz has no choice but to beam at her, eyes already wide and alight with anticipation.
"You might want to get changed, though. So should I, probably." There's a jolt when she presses the wrong buttons, hasty to correct her mistake; she's still getting used to all the new controls.
They land with a thump, as usual, leaving the Doctor to double-check their coordinates with a triumphant grin.
"Hang on. How are we going to blend in? Last time I checked, there wasn't any royalty in my blood."
"No need to worry about that, Yaz. I've already got it sorted. Now - clothing. I haven't dressed up properly in this body yet. Should be fun." There's childlike wonder in her eyes when she turns to reach for the dark-haired woman's hand, leading her towards the corridors of her ship. The hand-holding is new but she's certainly not about to start complaining, not when the Time Lady is so close, she can breathe in her faint perfume. It's a vanilla scent today, she notes absentmindedly.
"Wardrobe's this way, I think. Or - I mean, at least that's where I found it this morning."
It's another twenty minutes of walking until they approach the old oak doors housing the wardrobe, much to their relief. The interior contains rows upon rows of clothing suitable for any person and any era or occasion, leaving Yaz all but gawping in its wake.
"How did all of this -" She gestures wildly "- fit inside a tiny police box?"
"Like I said; dimensional engineering. It's got all you'd ever need in here. Handy, huh?"
"Still need more proof of that, but - yeah. S'proper cool. What kind of stuff do the royals on Bolaria wear, though?"
"Follow me." The Doctor gives her hand a squeeze, then leads the way through the aisles until she hits the jackpot in posh-clothing-form. After a quick scan through the rack of clothes, Yaz identifies the style as high class and sophisticated, as she'd expected. There's a cobalt, floor length dress which catches her eye instantly, fitted in all the right places. It's something she'd never even dreamed of being able to wear; elegant yet chic at the same time. Usually she'd go for something a little more understated, but there's a niggling in the back of her head encouraging her to show the blonde, now rummaging through the next rack, what she's missing.
Another five minutes passes and the Doctor still hasn't managed to pick out an outfit, so, when she begins to look a little too overwhelmed, Yaz steps in.
"You've looked at an entire army of killer spiders with less stress than you are towards those clothes right now, Doctor. Need a hand?"
"Please? I still haven't had much time to properly get used to this body yet, so I don't really know what would work best. Maybe I'll stick with a suit for now?" She's never seen her look so adorably clueless, gaze straying to the rack of deep blue and red suits beside them. She offers a firm nod of encouragement, giving the Time Lady's forearm a squeeze.
"If that's what you feel more comfortable in, go for it. Don't stress too hard, don't want you bailing on me before we've even stepped outside." She teases, giving her a double thumbs up that the Doctor finds utterly endearing as she rounds the corner to change.
Eventually, she settles on a deep purple fitted tux, which, much to her surprise, is customized exactly to fit her frame. She tops the suit off with a plain white shirt, a tie hanging loose around her neck, and a pair of loafers which leave her ankles sore in no time but are the most practical she can find. Not that she's hoping they'll need to run, at all.
Yaz is ready first, lingering by the console to check her appearance in a mirror the TARDIS had offered up generously upon arrival. The dress is the perfect fit, lace curling down her arms to her wrists and short, navy heels peeking out from beneath the dress. There's a pendant around her neck with a single star in the centre, hair pulled into a long French braid to avoid obstructing her vision. She's thankful for this when the Doctor ambles in from the corridor, all charming smiles and purple velvet. If she wasn't already flustered, she is now. How on Earth is she going to keep focused around her when she looks like that?
The Doctor Reacts to Yaz in the exact same way, lips parting and a million different compliments swimming in her brain. There's a short stare-off before the blonde gladly offers an arm, if only to gain a better view of her features.
"You look amazin', Yasmin Khan."
"You're not too shabby, either. Shall we?"
They share the look one would expect an adolescent boy to send their prom date after seeing their outfit for the first time, before stepping out onto the fresh lawns of Boralia's many palaces. Yasmin's arm tightens its hold through the blonde's as soon as they escape the safe comfort of the ship, her insides bubbling with nerves.
Thankfully, the couples and individuals they can see are dressed in a similar fashion, all stylish tuxedos and ball gowns. However, it doesn't take long for them to draw attention, especially with the way the Doctor is grinning from ear to ear as she takes in their surroundings through new eyes. They take a route through the gardens, filled to the brim with flora and fauna of all colours and styles. It's bright and vivid and smells almost as good as the Time Lady at her side.
At the end of the winding trail around the grand, red-stone palace, they encounter a gathering of individuals at the centre of what looks like a very high-class tea party. There's no hesitation when the Doctor leads the way over, flashing Yaz a look which translates roughly to 'don't worry, I've got this' - she doesn't always trust this notion, but she's thankful for the reassurance.
A lady dressed head to toe in an array of pearls and a cream, floor length gown, is the first to approach the newcomers. She gives an appreciative smile towards their getup.
"Afternoon, ladies. Invitations, please?"
The Doctor is on top form today, handing over two official looking cards with utmost confidence.
"Thank you. I'm queen Adela of Euvis, and who might you two be? I can't say I've seen you around before."
"Ah yes. Y'see, we're new here. Very new, in fact. Only moved to this planet a few days ago, actually. Didn't we, love? This is princess Yasmin Khan, of... Sheffieldonia. And I'm her... fiancée, Joan. We're getting married in spring."
Yaz nods quickly, catching on fast. She gives the middle-aged lady a breezy smile. Of all the things she could've said, she had to say that? She's not going to be able to focus all day, especially when the Doctor slips a warm palm down her arm to take her hand instead.
"Well, it's a pleasure to meet you both. I wish you all the best and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of each other in the future. Now, enjoy the party. There's a dance this evening in the grand hall. You are both cordially invited." With one last look of appreciation between the two of them, the queen strolls away with elegance that only comes with experience. Yaz breathes a soft sigh of relief, then all but drags the Doctor aside. To the others, it seems they simply can't get enough of each other.
"What was that, Doctor?" The dark-haired woman chides, though she's not angry. She's confused, more than anything. She's aware they've begun treading the line between good friends and something more, but she has an inkling the Doctor isn't quite on the same level as her.
"What was what? Did I do something wrong?" The look on her face is a mixture between guilt and embarrassment, turning to face her properly. Their hands are still connected, hanging loosely between them.
"Fiancée? Really? How are we going to keep this up, Doctor?"
"I mean - we just act normal, Yaz. This -" She gestures to their hands, tilting her head like a puppy awaiting attention. "- is normal for us, is it not?"
"Well- yes, but... Doctor, you can't just -"
"Intelligent, beautiful Yasmin Khan, sometimes you can be utterly clueless. Y'can't even see what's right in front of you, hidden in plain sight." The Time Lady lifts her free hand to rest tentatively against her cheek, which is burning beneath her palm. Her features soften, and she implores her to meet her gaze, green eyes meeting brown in a look which conveys more than words could ever say. She has a habit of doing that.
"You mean - wait, are you saying... wow, okay. This is - okay. Right. So, you knew this whole time? How I felt?" Yaz is momentarily stunned - the Doctor has the attention span of a three-year-old, so she hadn't expected her to pick up on the whole 'gazing from afar and gawping' thing she's had going on for the last few weeks. She also thought the Doctor was just being more affectionate than usual because she's still figuring herself out.
"Of course. Y'not exactly subtle, as adorable as it is. And before you ask - yes, I do feel the same way. Completely and utterly." The Doctor admits aloud for the first time, holding her gaze with more effort than usual. She idly swings their hands between them, smoothing the thumb of her free hand just under her eye. She's so soft and fragile that it makes her features falter for a moment. She doesn't know what the future may hold for them, and she can predict the ending already, but she pushes that to the dust and fog at the back of her mind for another day.
Speechless, all Yaz can do is lean into her touch, doe eyes settling on the slow grin which begins to dance on the Doctor's lips. She settles her free hand on the blushing Time Lady's waist, closing the distance between them to touch painted lips to her own.
That's the closest she'll get for now, however, as the palace bell begins to ring vehemently nearby, breaking them both from their reverie. Simultaneous sighs erupt from their lips, leaving them laughing into their embrace.
"C'mon, love, let's join the others before they get too suspicious. Who knows; if we're friendly enough I might get knighted again!"
"Doctor, that's not quite how it wor- okay, fine, let's go."