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Señorita, the truth may hurt, but I can't help falling in love with you

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Yaz, Ryan, Graham, and the Doctor stumbled out of the TARDIS, coughing as it expelled smoke.

“OK fam, we are going to have to work a bit on the landing, but that wasn’t bad for a first attempt at piloting together. Go team TARDIS!” the Doctor said cheerfully.

“Great, except this don’t exactly look like Sheffild, Doc,” said Graham. And it was true. The palm trees and short shorts and burning summer sun indicated that where they were didn’t appear to be South Yorkshire in midwinter.

“Don’t discourage her Gramps. In the two years we’ve been travelling together this has been the first time we’ve been allowed to so much as touch the controls since Punjab,” Ryan said in an undertone.

“Heard that Ryan,” said the Doctor in a singsong. “So where are we, Yaz?”

“Why are you asking me?”

“Because you give the best hugs, keep up.”

Yaz rolled her eyes, smiling fondly at the Doctor. “We’re in Miami.”

“How do you figure?” the Doctor asked, turning her head to the side.

“Probably that giant sign that says ‘Welcome to Miami’” Ryan shrugged.

“Oh well that’s just not on.”

… … …

The console room was still too filled with smoke to navigate anywhere, but the Doctor still was able to reroute the TARDIS doors to the garage, and soon the four of them were in a sporty convertible — TARDIS blue of course.

“We can check into a hotel for a few days, let the TARDIS calm down. Make a proper vacation of it!” the Doctor shouted over the wind. “It’ll be perfect!”

They checked into the first hotel they found, a bit of physic paper convincing the front desk that they really didn’t need to have a credit card on file, and were quickly shown to a suite with two rooms, one with two single beds, and a connected sink room that had a separate door to the main room, with another door to a shower and toilet, the other with a queen bed and a bathtub in the same room, with an isolated toilet and shower room. In the main room was a sofa, TV, and kitchen area with a wide peninsula counter, a dozen cabinets, full sized fridge, dishwasher, two-tub sink, and a washer-dryer area.

“You know, it never ceases to amaze me that there are hotel suites nicer than homes,” Yaz said as she settled on one of the barstools, having tossed her bag into the room with the queen bed. Graham and Ryan had decided to share the room with twin beds, claiming that it made the most sense for them to share the same room. They were currently in there arguing over who got which of the two beds.

“Agreed,” said the Doctor, spinning on one of the bar stools. She started flipping through the pamphlet of activities that the concierge had offered them.

“Oooo they have karaoke here! I love me some karaoke. Did you you know I helped invent karaoke? Well, I didn’t invent it, that was a guy in Japan, but see there were these fish who had decided they wanted the credit and so I —”

“Doctor,” Yaz held her finger to the Doctor’s lips as she slipped off the stool and leaned closer to her. “Hush.” As they leaned closer to each other they were interrupted by Graham walking into the main room.

“You reckon we’ll be able to find time to go to the beach? We were supposed to go to space Florida, but you ran into your other self and we had to fight off those shape-shifting sharks together and we never actually got to swim.... Oh, am I interrupting again?”

Yaz and the Doctor, who had hastily parted and were looking anywhere but each other shook their heads.

“Not at all!” The Doctor clapped her hands. “Beach sounds lovely! Where’s Ryan got off to?”

“I think he’s taking a shower,” Graham said apologetically.

“I still don’t understand what he has against taking showers in the TARDIS,” Yaz shook her head.

“We all have our things Yaz,” the Doctor bit into an apple.

“Where did you get an apple?” Graham asked, confused.

“Don’t you know?” Yaz asked, confused. “The Doctor always has an apple or two in her pocket. I think it’s funny, coz of the saying.”

“Oh?” the Doctor asked.

“An apple a day keeps the Doctor away,” Graham joked.

“Nah, not me.” The Doctor took another bite. “That’s pears.” She looked thoughtful, staring at the apple. “I used to hate apples. But nowadays I like to have them around. They remind me to smile.”

Ryan came into the room, towel around his shoulders. “What’s the plan guys?”

“Graham wants to go to the beach, the Doctor wants Karaoke,” Yaz explained.

“And what do you want?”

“Don’t much care,” Yaz shrugged.

“I just took a shower, so I’d rather the thing that won’t get me covered in sand. My vote’s for karaoke.”

“Yes! We can go to the beach tomorrow Graham.”

… … …

Graham protested the karaoke plan sufficiently that the three of them left him with a sonically hacked television that got all of the shows despite whatever imposed payment plan the ludicrously expensive hotel was angling for, and sought out karaoke for themselves.

“Oh,” said the Doctor dismally as she looked over the list, “cor, I don’t know barely any of these songs.”

“How do you not know any of these songs?” Ryan asked in disbelief. I thought you said you lived on earth through 2017 recently.

“Well, I mean, when I say recently, within the past 200 years is recent, really. I don’t — it’s not like I prioritized remembering the Little Mix discography. Give me some John Jones or something.”

“John Jones?” Yaz asked in disbelief. “You remember the music of a 60s pop musician but you don’t know who Lizzo is?”

“And for that matter you remember him but not Queen?” Ryan asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Ryan, I will lose another hand to the Sycorax before I claim that my voice has anything on Freddie’s, and I’m not going to try. And I know who Lizzo is but I’m not about to try and beat that either.” the Doctor sniffed. “Besides, I remember Jones because he was my companion. We travelled together for a while. Me, Jones, Alice and ARC. Had some good times, and some bad ones. Some high highs and some low lows. But,” the Doctor clapped her hands, “in the past now. Or the future. Maybe even the present. Oooo! I know this one!” The Doctor pointed at a long on the list.

“Doctor, that’s a duet,” Yaz pointed out.

“I’m not singing it with you,” Ryan shook his head.

“I’ll do it,” Yaz offered.

“See, Yaz, this is why you’re my favorite, sorry Ryan, shouldn’t have said that, was rude,” the Doctor scrunched up her face in the way she did, “Am I rude?”

“All the time,” Yaz and Ryan both laughed.

“It’s OK, we love you for it,” Yaz said, and she and the Doctor held eye contact for just long enough that Ryan sighed with his head in his hands, wondering why he was friends with people who were so thick.

… … …

Yaz was… it wasn’t quite nervous. But her senses were always heightened around the Doctor. Whatever this thing was between her and the Doctor, they hadn’t quite defined it yet, and as they waited in line for their turn to take to the stage she could feel the Doctor practically vibrating energy next to her.

“It’s been ages since I did Karaoke. Not since Bill and I lost a bet with Nardole and got drunk in Newcastle. What a night, almost married a zygon, again. That seems to keep happening, one day I might actually go through with it.” The Doctor hummed, and Yaz giggled. With an impish grin the Doctor asked “You’re not a zygon, are you Yaz?”

Yaz, flustered, scrambled for a response, but before she came up with one their names were called and they were ushered to the stage.

… … …

The lights were impossibly bright, and so it was impossible to see what the crowd was like. Still, there were two screens on either side, so that in order to read her lines Yaz only had to look over the Doctor's shoulder. She wasn’t even sure she needed the prompter, or that the Doctor did either; this was a song that the TARDIS had played often in the music kitchen.[1]

Yaz cleared her throat, and started hesitantly.

I love it when you call me señorita

I wish I could pretend I didn't need ya

Her voice grew stronger as she closed her eyes and smiled.

But every touch is ooh la la la

It's true, la la la

Ooh, I should be running

Ooh, you keep me coming for ya

Yaz let out a breath as she finished her intro, eyes still closed, but her eyes flew open as she heard the crooning tones of her friend’s voice, which had had a deeper quality to it, and she was startled to notice that the Doctor had taken on a very convincing American accent, though still noticeably her voice.

Land in Miami

The air was hot from summer rain

Sweat dripping off me

Before I even knew her name, la la la

It felt like ooh la la la

Yeah, no

Sapphire moonlight

We danced for hours in the sand

Tequila sunrise

Her body fit right in my hands, la la la

It felt like ooh la la la, yeah

Yaz’s eyes met the Doctor’s and she could tell that the other woman was remembering the same things she was, namely their tactile closeness, which had grown in the years they knew each other, and how that had culminated the previous week. Suddenly came the part where they sang together, and they started to draw closer to each other.

I love it when you call me señorita

I wish I could pretend I didn't need ya

But every touch is ooh la la la

It's true, la la la

Ooh, I should be running

It was hypnotic almost, in that they only had eyes for one another, almost completely ignoring that there was anyone else in the room, that there were even prompts, just going based off of memory at this point.

Ooh, you know I love it when you call me señorita

I wish it wasn't so damn hard to leave ya

But every touch is ooh la la la

It's true, la la la

Ooh, I should be running

Ooh, you keep me coming for ya

And then Yaz was singing alone again, and she couldn’t help but feel that the lyrics were somewhat accusatory, but also somewhat true, given what had happened. She let go of the Doctor’s hand.

Locked in the hotel

There's just some things that never change

You say we're just friends

But friends don't know the way you taste, la la la

'Cause you know it's been a long time coming

Don't you let me fall, oh

The Doctor grabs Yaz’s hand again, and pulls her flush against her body — always with a sense for drama as they sing, slightly out of breath.

Ooh, when your lips undress me

Hooked on your tongue

Ooh love, your kiss is deadly

Don't stop

And then, gasping, they are back to the chorus.

I love it when you call me señorita

I wish I could pretend I didn't need ya

But every touch is ooh la la la

It's true, la la la

Ooh, I should be running

Ooh, you know I love it when you call me señorita

I wish it wasn't so damn hard to leave ya

But every touch is ooh la la la

It's true, la la la

Ooh, I should be running

Ooh, you keep me coming for ya

All along I've been coming for ya

As the Doctor sings, Yaz senses a certain desperation in the song, and thinks of all that the Doctor has said about running, about leaving people behind, about the people who have left her.

And I hope it meant something to ya

The Doctor, meanwhile, is batting away all the pessimism of those versions of her that are trying to stave off heartbreak, and enjoying singing a song with a pretty girl.

Call my name, I'll be coming for ya

Coming for ya, coming for ya, coming for ya

For ya (oh, she loves it when I come)

For ya

Ooh, I should be running

Ooh, you keep me coming for ya

… … …

Breathless, the two finished the song, still staring at each other, as Ryan edged onto the stage.

“Uh, mates. Hate to break to to ya, but it’s kind of me turn?”

“What, oh yeah!” Yaz said, flustered.

“Of course!” The Doctor grabbed Yaz’s hand, and they rushed off the stage as Ryan took their discarded mikes, placing one of them back on it’s stand and holding the other in his hand.

“Right! I’m ready now!” he cleared his throat as the music started up.

Why men great ‘til they gotta be great?

… … ...

“You feeling alright, Doctor?” Yaz asked.

“Me, what yes, I’m fantastic! Why wouldn’t I be great? I’m with you!” the Doctor paused. “Did Ryan just call himself a bitch?”

“Wot, is he singing Lizzo? I thought that was a joke,” Yaz was momentarily distracted before turning back to the Doctor. “Look, Doctor, we should talk.”

“Don’t we always talk? I love a good chat me, we talk all the time, I basically never shut up,” the Doctor laughed. Yaz snorted.

“That is a bit true. I just mean, talk about us, do you want to be friends? Only friends? Or, I thought…”

“Yaz —”

I'm calling you Yaz, cos we're friends now.

“What’s going on mates? I decided to come down after all, is Ryan singing Lizzo?”

...and Graham was there.

Truth hurts, needed something more exciting

Bom bom bi bom bi dum bum bay

Yaz groaned as the Doctor seized the opportunity to avoid the very conversation that Yaz most wanted to have. Soon Ryan was at her side.

“How did I do?” he asked cheerfully.

“Better than me,” Yaz replied grumpily, scowling at where the Doctor was animatedly talking with Graham about which song he should sing for karaoke, the older man looking surprisingly enthusiastic, though he had lightened up considerably over the years, especially since the Doctor had taken him to a space hospital in the far future that had perfected the treatment for cancer and given him a clear bill of health.

“What’s wrong? I saw you two up there, it was electric!” I’m surprised you’re still here and not ripping each other’s clothes off back in the suite.

“Ryan!” Yaz hissed.

“You know it, I know it, honestly the amount of money in the betting pool is just ridiculous at this point, it’s obvious you’re in love with each other, and if you two finally get together while we’re on an earth bound adventure the odds are quite excellently in my favor, so I’m willing to split the payout with you, forty sixty.”

She gave him a withering look.

“All right, all right, fifty-fifty, you drive a hard bargain —”

“Ryan!”

“What’s going on, mates?” the Doctor was back, and the line was short enough again that it was Graham’s turn.

Wise men say only fools rush in

But I can't help falling in love with you

 “I’m going to go get a drink,” Ryan said quickly. “You two are going to talk.”

As the Doctor had her back to the bar she didn’t see Ryan attempt to give Yaz two thumbs up while walking backwards only to knock into a waitress carrying a platter full of drinks, dousing both of them in margaritas, martinis, and a root beer float.

“Oh my goodness I am so sorry!”

Oh, like a river flows, surely to the sea

Darling, so it goes, some things are meant to be

The Doctor and Yaz started, and the Doctor moved to help but Yaz grabbed her hand and said —

“I’m in love with you. And I have been. For a while now. Maybe as long as I’ve known you, maybe a little bit less than that. And I just, needed to say that. Before I couldn’t.” The Doctor looked at Yaz, as if she was seeing her all at once, and Yaz looked back, and for a moment Yaz wondered if she had made a horrible mistake, and then suddenly the Doctor was kissing her, and it was like nothing else mattered but the two of them.

Oh, take my hand, take my whole life too

For I can't help falling in love with you

Oh, for I can't help falling in love with you

… … …

Of course, other things did matter. Ryan won the bet, much to Graham’s, (and Jack’s, once they phoned him) displeasure. He used the money to take the waitress out for dinner and now they text each other an awful lot on whatsapp, but it’s not exclusive.

Ryan had to return some of the money when Jack argued that their relationship had been jump started by their initial encounter with ginger infused mushrooms that the two had eaten while on the TARDIS. These had lowered Yaz and the Doctor’s inhibitions such that they made out heavily before each of them came down from the high. Afterward they were so embarrassed that they did nothing about their feelings, until the fateful night of karaoke.  Yaz and the Doctor were adamant though that they didn’t want this incident to be the official start to their relationship because of the consent issues involved seeing as how both of them were under the influence of psychedelics. Jack agreed that they had a point and gave Ryan his money back.

Meanwhile, Yaz and the Doctor decided to make the most of their times together, ignoring the antics of their friends — even when Ryan made a fuss about Graham not-so-subtly sharing Jack’s room on the TARDIS when the rogue decided to stick around for a while after begrudgingly contributing his part to having lost the bet — and they lived, as another Doctor did with his wife, happily.

 

 

[1] it should be explained that the TARDIS kitchens are all themed. There is the yellow kitchen, wherein everything is yellow, the counters, the cupboards, the appliances, the interior of the fridge and freezer, and all food contents to be found within. Bananas, pineapples, lemon bread, only yellow foods allowed. Then there was the restaurant kitchen, which looked like the back area of a diner, and was stocked as if ready to serve 1950s American food. There was also a “boring” (in the Doctor’s estimation) kitchen which was Graham’s favorite. It automatically restocked itself; there were always exactly six eggs, a fresh pint of milk and freshly baked bread every morning. Then there was the room with the food machine, which was barely a kitchen at all. Yaz and the Doctor both favored the music kitchen, though, which was constantly playing music, with no way to turn it off, only set of dials that let you chose the planet and era you wanted, the volume, and a mood reader that either mirrored your mood or offset it — as to either compliment you in a good mood or cheer you up in a bad one. The walls were covered in the signatures of all of the musicians that the Doctor had brought into the TARDIS over the years, kept fresh as if Elvis had been there yesterday rather than the thousands of years it had to have been. What was time to a TARDIS?