Despite the light breeze in Shoreditch, the air was far too calm. For Yasmin Khan, danger and panic had become the new normal. It wasn’t that her current situation wasn’t dangerous, but it was remarkably boring compared to the last few adventures-and long . It’d been 5 months since the Doctor and Y/N had left her and the rest of the fam stranded in Shoreditch with nothing to do but keep them in check. 5 months of sitting around, living a life that was not hers so her friends could do the same for god knows how much longer. The fake identities were simple which was yet another problem. Even her normal life and job as a probation officer offered more excitement.
The Doctor, now a former timelord, was sitting across the room from Yaz at her desk. She'd been hired as the Physics teacher at Coal Hill Secondary School after two of the teachers and their aides had become remarkably ill, requiring the rest of the year off. How convenient. The 'Jane Smith' nameplate, which cemented the disguise, glared into Yaz’s soul, daring her to question its existence. She twitched with the urge to throw it out the window.
“Everything alright, Ms. Khan?” She nodded before she even finished talking. It was a question the Doctor- Jane seemed to ask an awful lot lately. But Yaz couldn't help it. Everything seemed to be building up inside of her; not being able to see her family, having to wear some stupid gadget that helped disguise her just in case of recognition, her stupid stupid job as a teachers aide- her teachers aide. It didn’t sit right with her at all and there was nothing she could do. She wasn't sure how long she could hold on before she ran away from it all.
“Yes, everything's alright,” She lied. “You?”
“Oh, it's alright” Jane was grading a pile of papers, one that never seemed to shrink. It seemed as if, despite the chameleon arc changing the Doctor, certain parts of herself still remained. They were the only thing that helped Yaz stay sane. They helped maintain the hope that they would be out of this situation soon. She chased after them and encouraged them as much as she could without making Jane too suspicious. The last thing Yaz needed- despite her wanting it so badly- was Jane thinking her dreams were real and blowing their cover before it was safe.
“I’m meeting Y/N for lunch today, would you care to join?”
Oh, and that was the other problem. You and the Doctor didn’t remember each other, but your feelings for one another certainly hadn't disappeared when you went undercover. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem, but you and her hadn’t become a couple or anything. The two of you were much more specialized in eternal obliviousness. The ongoing debate between her and her fellow companions was whether or not they should allow them to get close like this. Graham stood strong with a firm ‘no, course not’ because it would be irresponsible and had the potential to make things awkward when they returned to normal. Ryan was an insistent “yes” because ‘It’s not like they’d make a move otherwise’ Yaz was constantly fluctuating between the two.
Yaz found herself saying yes to the invitation.
'Meeting for lunch' now meant sitting together in a cramped, windowless teachers lounge and wolfing down whatever you'd brought in as fast as you could in order to get back to grading papers, but sometimes there was nice conversation. Jane seemed to be extra eager to eat today. She waved at all the students and teachers she passed in the hallway, earning a 50/50 share of returned smiles and weird looks. The bubbly mood was only briefly popped when a student asked about her recent test grade (one that Yaz doubted she'd receive any time soon) Jane made quick work of the conversation, going off on a tangent about how test scores had no indication of true intelligence and that she shouldn't worry about it at all. The student seemed less than pleased at the response, but Jane didn't seem to care- she had places to be. Yaz gave her an apologetic smile and a small promise that she would try and take the grading into her own hands. By the time she turned back around, Jane had already disappeared down the hall and into the lounge.
When she walked in, Jane was twitching excitedly as you handed her a Tupperware container from the fridge.
"Now, I wasn't sure if you were a fan of guacamole, but I added some just in case" You were telling her. Yaz scoffed. You'd cooked for her? This was getting too ridiculous.
You, on the other hand, did not think it was ridiculous. You thought it was much too nerve-wracking considering you were only cooking for a friend. Not that you only wanted Jane to be a friend- but she was, unfortunately, for the time being. Oh, who were you kidding. You really liked her, and that's why you were so nervous about cooking something for her. You and Jane instantly became friends after you both began working at Coal Hill five months ago. She'd been a massive light in your life ever since; You ate lunch together every day, including weekends. You sat together at every teachers meetings just to end up talking to each other the entire time. You even graded papers together (although she didn't seem to like that activity very much) She seemed to always be where you were.
You watched her sit down with the burrito bowl you'd prepared for her, desperate to see what she thought of it. You took your own seat awkwardly. Ms. Khan, Jane's aide, was standing in the doorway. Usually, she ate lunch with your aide, Ryan, so you hadn't been expecting her at all. You felt bad, knowing it must seem rude to have brought something for Jane and not for her. "Sorry, Ms. Khan, I didn't know you'd be joining us, or I would've made something"
"Oh, its alright, I've brought something of my own" She said. She fumbled in the fridge behind you and you turned to see Jane staring at you. You froze, raising an eyebrow. She was holding her fork in her hand, a decent chunk taken out of her burrito bowl.
"W-what?" You stammered nervously.
"Y/n, this is amazing. How come you've never mentioned you've cooked before?" You warmed at the praise, not noticing Yaz's eye roll behind you.
"Oh, I don't know" You said, trying to play it off like your cooking ability was a simple, spontaneous thing and not a result of hours of research and failed attempts. "It's just a small hobby."
Jane grinned wider before she went back to eating, leaving you to start your own meal. You tried to avoid her gaze as you ate, not wanting to make things more awkward. Ms. Khan chose the same method of attack, and it was silent for 10 or so minutes until the three of you had finished.
"Very, good, Y/N. Very, Very good."
"Y/N?" Ms. Khan asked. Your cheeks warmed immensely and you tried to stifle it down. Other teachers had caught on to your feelings for the Physics teacher, and you were sure this was Ms. Khan doing the same. You knew exactly why she singled out Jane for using your first name; most teachers at Coal Hill always stuck to a last-name basis unless it was in an out-of-school setting. It was a small faux pas, but it was enough to make your brain short circuit. Jane didn't seem phased at all, nodding.
"Yeah, thats her name." You felt like kicking her under the table, shrinking under Yaz's amused eye. "It's alright that I call you that, right Y/N? "
You nodded immediately despite the embarrassment. Yaz packed up her lunch, shaking her head. "What?" You asked.
"Nothing. I'm going to go grade papers, since someone won't. Enjoy the rest of your lunch"
After she left, you and Jane were the only teachers remaining. You tapped your foot, not wanting to leave just yet. Sure, you saw her nearly every moment you weren't at work, but it still didn't feel like enough. It always felt like there was something missing with the two of you. It frustrated you to no end that you couldn't put your finger on the reason. She was beautiful, she was your best friend, and she was important enough to appear in your dreams every single night. So who or what took away the missing piece?
Jane was doing something on her phone, pecking away at the screen. You bit back a laugh- she was holding it like an old woman, face scrunched up in what you assumed was confusion. She noticed your poorly hid amusement, her frustrated scronch turning into a sillier one.
"Sorry, don't mean to be so silent. There's this one Physics teacher I've been talking with- it's part of his curriculum I've been using." She admitted. She set the phone on the table face down so she could turn her attention back to you. You couldn't help the small twinge of jealousy that made itself known at the word him. Jane's outfits and general attitude had always led you to believe she might be into women like you, but maybe this was a sign she wasn't? it had always been a possibility. You winced, knowing the thought was irrational. It's just another teacher, y/n, you scolded yourself.
"I thought you weren't sticking to any sort of curriculum?" You asked. "Or, at least, thats what I hear from the students"
"The students? They talk about me?" You nodded.
"Hm. Interesting. Not sure I like that... or maybe I do? Not sure." She spent the next five minutes talking about the random things she'd heard the students talking about during her time at the school. You barely absorbed the stories about how the entire maths class had managed to cheat on their exam, or how there was a secret shrine built to Little Mix in the girls bathroom. Your eyes couldn't leave her hands as they flailed wildly. She was always doing things like that. It seemed sometimes as though her energy extended far beyond her body and she was trying to shake it out as much as she could. It was unbelievably adorable.
The bell rang in the background shaking you out of your longing. You gathered the Tupperware containers, ignoring the way your hands brushed and set them aside to be picked up for later.
"Do you think you could do it again?"
"Cook for me... do you think you could do it again?" You clenched your hands, trying not to face her just yet. You'd meant it to be a one-time thing, something that hopefully brought you close enough to ask her on a date, but now you'd have to do it again? It wasn't an ultimately bad thing, though. Clearly, she liked the gesture enough to ask for more and if you had to spend more hours hopelessly trying to put a meal together in order to see her smile again...
Yaz stomped all the way to the courtyard, where she knew she'd find Ryan and Graham. Before they even turned around, Ryan muttered:
"Are they at it again?"
Yaz only groaned, sitting down beside Ryan.
"What're they doing this time?"
"She cooked for her" Yaz said. Graham looked up, eyes wide as if she'd just informed him that Jane and Y/N were happily married and running off to celebrate the honeymoon.
"Oh my stars," He gasped. "It's getting serious then."
Ryan looked between the two of them with a furrowed brow. "How is cooking making it serious? You act like they've kissed or something"
"Well they might as well have!" Yaz and Graham shouted simultaneously. Yaz scoffed at Ryan's confused face, wishing she could easily unload years worth of relationship knowledge on him. Most men didn't understand things like this and Graham only did because he was... well, old. She tried to explain it further.
"It's just... domestic, you know? Like, usually friends don't cook whole meals for each other."
"Ohhhhhh" Ryan realized. He pulled out his phone, opening the notes app. Yaz glanced over his shoulder to watch him add "Y/N Cooking for the Doctor" to a list. They'd started the list far too long ago, only two months after they started traveling with the pair. It had over 100 entries now, all different scenarios in which Y/N and the Doctor had acted like girlfriends. Nearly 30 of the entries were from this adventure alone.
"You realize what this means, right?" She asked. "It's getting way more serious. I know we're still on the fence about the whole thing, but I don't know how to stop them from looking at each other like that, much less stop them from doing things like this."
"We shouldn't have to stop it though? I mean, how many times have we talked about this, they're still them." Graham shook his head.
"But they're not them though, son. That Chameleon whats-it... it definitely changed them. They should come to terms with all this when they're actually in their right minds. "
"Are you joking me? Almost a year we've been traveling with them, and nothing. I mean look," Ryan shoved his phone under Grahams nose, scrolling up higher on the list. "The Doctor literally said she wouldn't mind being married to Y/N, that time with the festival, remember? I mean, the hand holding is one thing but married?"
His voice became more shrill as he continued, and Yaz rubbed at her temples. They needed to do something, anything. Part of her almost didn't mind joining Ryan in pushing them together if it meant the end to debates like these and the everlasting boredom after them. Maybe the two timelords finally getting together could conjure up some insane power-of-love moment and the threat that'd been chasing them all would go away. Wishful thinking.
"Look, he's doing it again." Graham whispered. Yaz raised her head from where it'd been sitting in her hands, following Grahams gaze to the corner of the courtyard. Passed the clumps of students talking and studying, the Headmaster stood silently. His eyes were fixated on the three of them, although it was unclear which of them was the ultimate target. Graham waved awkwardly, but the Headmasters eyes did not moved. Yaz felt the air become much colder, sending shivers down her spine.
"That man's proper weird." Ryan shoved his phone back into his pocket, as if it would help make him seem like he was busy at work. Yaz nodded in reply, her eyes not leaving his. Something was definitely odd about him. And after months of hiding from aliens, scared to even venture out of the town, she didn't want to take any chances.