Bread week. Yaz had been looking forward to bread week since her first challenge - she loved bread. She just...got it. It was like the chemistry of baking - do this, and that, and this will happen. After barely scraping by in the cake week, followed by an average week (Though she had spectacularly failed the technical), she felt the universe owed her a chance to prove that she did, actually, belong here.
If only she didn’t keep getting distracted.
Yasmin Khan wasn’t a fool - she’d seen the show for several of the past seasons. She knew what it was like. All of the other competitors were fighting the difficulties inherent to baking as much as each other; it was so easy to make friends when no one was out to get you. A young lad called Ryan, from London, made her laugh like few others. He was here, so she’d learned, because his nan had taught him to bake after his mum passed away. Now he wanted to make her proud. She could get behind that. Her own Nani was the reason she’d even had the inclination to apply, and boy she was glad she did. The experience was like nothing she’d ever done before.
There was just one problem.
She heard a boisterous laugh from behind her, and shook her head quickly to clear it. She had to focus. Bread was what she knew, bread was her favourite. Her breakfast sourdough rolls were already in for their rise, and she had little else to do now but wait. Wait, and perhaps have a quick chat with the woman baking behind her, who was also just leaned against her counter.
“Bored, are we, Doctor?” Yaz grinned, with one eyebrow raised. The woman groaned, letting her head drop forwards.
“You have no idea, Yaz. I hate bread, so much waiting around, it’s like baking for mums.” She couldn’t hold back her laugh, rolling her eyes.
“Oi! Some of us love bread!”
“Oh yeah, how could I forget? The Yasmin Khan, bready to rise to any challenge.” The Doctor winked at her, and Yaz felt her face flush.
“You’re such a dork!” She gave the woman a swat on her arm. “One of us has to keep a leaven head, at least.”
“ Naan of that now!” The Doctor scolded, leaning forwards against the table. “You must have known this was scone-a be a lot of fun when you met me.” Yaz gasped, hand on her heart.
“Doctor! First of all, that last one was far too weak, you need to step up your game. But second, and more important, I should have known you were of the ‘scone’ variety.” The Doctor’s eyes widened.
“Are you not? Do you say ‘scone’?”
“‘Course I do! That’s how you say it!” Their bickering came to a close when a cough came from behind them, and the two women seperated, grinning sheepishly.
“Ladies, we’ve been over this. We do not say the ‘s-word in this tent.” Sue scolded, smiling. The Doctor looked at Yaz, and muttered to her conspiratorially.
“Well, looks like someone got out of the wrong side of the bread .” And Yaz completely broke down in fits of the giggles.
That was the problem. Jo Smith. Or Joe Smith. Yaz had no idea how to spell her actual name, since she rarely used it. The name she used, pretty much exclusively as far as she could tell, was The Doctor. She was eccentric, bizarre, and so so funny. Not only that, but she was extraordinarily clumsy, and yet easily one of the best bakers here. She was maybe five years older than Yaz, and so exceptional in every way that of course Yaz was crushing on her. She hoped it wasn’t as obvious during the release of the episodes as it felt to her working in the tent. She was getting teased about it constantly , though The Doctor didn’t seem to notice.
“Hey, Yaz.” Ryan came to sit by her during one of their breaks. She was on her own, not through any particular reason, but just because she felt like being in that moment. “What you doing over here?”
“Oh, nothing. Just taking a breather, you know what it’s like.”
“Yeah.” They sat in silence for a moment. “Just, y’know, I thought you’d be sat with The Doctor.” He grinned at her blush.
“I- I have no idea what you’re talking about.” She muttered, eyes on the ground.
“Yeah. You do.” Ryan replied, knocking her shoulder with his. “I won’t say anything though, least of all here.” He looked around the picnic benches, keeping his voice low. “Shows like this one are much more casual than most, but if they get a hint of drama, they will feed off it.” Yaz nodded.
“I know. Don’t worry about me, this is bigger than a crush on the Doctor.”
“What?” Ryan exclaimed, bolting upright. “You have a crush on the Doctor? I just thought, like, you guys were getting really close friends or something-” Seeing Yaz’s horror stricken face, he laughed. “And I’m just messing with you. Come on, gotta get back inside.” He grabbed her arm, and hauled her back towards the tent.
And then there’s the singing.
Every single chance she gets, that woman will mutter, hum or sing one song or another. Yaz would love to have said it drove her crazy, but honestly it was just a throwback to when she was baking for her colleagues at work, and dancing around the kitchen to spotify. Especially when she recognized some of the lyrics.
For example, her tune of choice during their technical (baguettes this week, thank god for their international day at work a few months ago!) was Friday I’m in Love, but a softer, more melodic than the original, and Yaz fought to contain her grin when the cameras came round to check up on her and caught her in the background.
“Sorry!” She said to Yaz once they’d moved on. “I just lost track of what was going on. Easy to lose myself in the music, you know?” Yaz nodded, smiling warming.
“Yeah, I do. I love music while I bake too. I didn’t recognise the cover though?”
“Oh, yeah, it’s one of my favourites. Something about the softer music, I don’t know what it is, but I really feel it.” Yaz wished she had that laissez-faire attitude. Did the Doctor just not care, or was she unaware that she even should?
“I like it.” She said, before she could stop herself. “The...the singing, I mean. Brightens up what would probably feel pretty awkward.” Despite her attempted explanation, the Doctor beamed.
“Aww, thanks!” She exclaimed. “Music - food for the soul.”
She didn’t stop singing after that, for which Yaz was thankful for. It really did make the tent seem more cheerful, somehow. And, when she was singing, the Doctor wasn’t distracting Yaz in some way or another. And, as it turns out, when she could focus, and when confronted with something she loved with her whole heart, she did pretty well.
Winning star baker came second that week, however, to the Doctor’s face split open in a grin at the announcement, and she was the first one to offer her congratulations.