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FIC: Blind Date (4/5)

Title: Blind Date

Genre: Doctor Who

Rating: T

Author: tkel_paris

Summary: Caving to the pressure of his parents to find a wife, the Doctor goes on Jack Harkness' dating show. Four women have been selected, and he has to choose one to go out with for a month. Can his sanity – what there is of it – survive long enough to make the best choice?

Disclaimer: I'm going into major alternate reality terms. That should assure you I own nothing.

Dedication: cassikat, as I'm not going to be able to finish the next installment of The Noble Girl in time for your birthday. Not with Camp NaNo and a major chess tournament coming to Phoenix in August, along with my parents.

Author's Note: A random thought that amused my beta when I mentioned it. A few ideas were tossed back and forth, and this was the end result. Written during Camp NaNo July 2015. I owe my beta a lot for transforming the story from something too American to something more based on the show Blind Date from across the pond. And for making sure that the details mentioned about life in England were accurate. Also, y'all should know that tardis_mole informed me that the host for the original Blind Date show, Cilla Black, died during the writing of this story. All that's known as of the post date is that she collapsed in the heat.

Critical Note: All answers given by the guests are based on things they actually said in canon, things said about them that were not disputed, ways they acted, or things outright implied. Do not snap at me or my beta. Snap at RTD and the Moff for writing said things, and permitting them to go on air.


Chapter One / Chapter Two / Chapter Three


Blind Date

Started July 18, 2015
Finished August 7, 2015


Chapter Four: Decision Time

“Tell me about the most memorable event in your childhood,” the Doctor urged, eyes noting his friend's growing alarm that only a keen observer could spot.

Rose blinked. “Well, I got a bike for Christmas, when I was twelve. That was odd. Coz there was no label on it, Mum said. I don't know who sent it, but I didn't care. First bike I ever had, coz my Mum was a tight wad.”

Jackie glowered. She knew teenagers railed against their parents, but hers had no respect or understanding of the financial struggle she went through. Her only comfort was the narrowed eyes the Doctor suddenly sported.

“Finally I was in the gang coz everyone had bikes. I had the bike for four years before some git stole it. But by that time I was too big for it and I hadn't ridden it for two years. My mate, Shareen, moved in when I was fourteen and we used to hang out by the shops, looking at boys.”

The Doctor rolled his eyes at the end. Rose's story had a good beginning, but then quickly showed a less than appreciative feeling. “Martha?”

Martha tensed and took a deep breath before speaking. “I caught hepatitis when I was five. I had to be in hospital for several weeks, and then I had to stay at home in a separate room to recover for three months. I had to talk to my brother and sister through a closed door. No one was allowed in unless they had a mask and gloves on. I couldn't share the bathroom or a knife and fork. Wasn't a very nice experience.”

He hissed, along with quite a few of the audience over the admission. “I agree. River?”

River grimaced. “Scaring the hell out of a down-and-out in New York. I regenerated; he died of a heart attack. I suppose that was one less homeless man to worry about. It's not like I did it on purpose.”

“Wait!” cried the Doctor. “You were born to Human parents and yet you can regenerate?!”

His parents were equally wide-eyed. This was not something the High Council would welcome, and that was the least of the concerns.

“Something happened to me before I was born. I can't speak about it. Spoilers.”

The Doctor groaned and shook his head. This was a disaster waiting to happen. On the other hand, since she had publicly admitted it, the High Council would be looking into it, as a matter of urgency. So it wouldn't be his problem, whether he chose her or not. And, for once, he was happy to leave them to it. “Donna?”

Donna, shaking her head to shake off the feelings brought on by River's casual remarks, slowly began to smile as she told her story. “My mum told me that we couldn't afford a holiday one year. So I decided to go off on my own. I got on the bus, just like we always did, and then got off at the other end. Had a lovely day. And then this policeman came and took me home. And I didn't even get an ice cream. I was gutted. But, then, I was only six. And it was Strathclyde.”

The Doctor grinned. She sounded like they would have got on as children and would get along well now. And he was now vaguely aware that his hair was standing to attention.

Jack had to interrupt his old friend's thought processes. “Just to let you know, Doctor, I think you have time for two more questions. I think there's a big one that you haven't asked yet that these ladies need to be aware of.”

The Doctor sucked in a breath. He knew what Jack was referring to. “How in Rassilon's name do you know that?”

“My lineage,” Jack answered matter-of-factly. “Boe-Kind are descended from Gallifreyans, remember?”

He looked pinched. “Of course.”

Naturally the audience was very intrigued. They could sense something both embarrassing and interesting was about to be discussed.

In their room, his parents covered their eyes. Now they regretted their ultimatum.

“I have one more question I want to ask before that one,” the Doctor insisted.

“Okay, go ahead,” said Jack, graciously.

“Why did you decide to come here? Why be on this show? Rose?”

Rose was quick to answer. “Why not? Besides, how often do you meet someone who really can take you away from everything?”

He silently snorted. “Martha?”

“I... wanted to meet someone different from the blokes I've been meeting, They're either utterly focused on their own studies – in the way that my mum wants me to be all the time – or prize... idiots.” Her tone left little doubt what she really wanted to say but was too lady-like to carry it out on air. “And I'll admit that the chance to get out and do something out of my comfort zone seemed like a good thing to do.”

“Breaking out from your comfort zone is a very good idea. River?”

“I wanted to find a certain man,” she simply stated.

“Oh for Rassilon's sake,” he groaned under his breath, unaware that the microphones just barely picked it up. “Donna?”

She shifted, wanting to cover up. “Oh, this is shaming.” She cleared her throat. “I have this friend who... has this ability to sometimes guess exactly how something will turn out. She told me that certain relationships would collapse, and even correctly predicted how. It's happened often enough that when she told me to go on here I did, even though I hate the thought of being on display like this in front of the entire nation.”

Donna was not about to admit that Alice had told her she would meet her future husband, and he would be dazzling beyond her wildest dreams even as he tested her patience at times. Some things had to be kept a secret.

The Doctor's hearts twisted, feeling exactly what she was describing. Although this friend sounded like someone to speak with someday. Jack's expression told him that he could not delay any longer. The Doctor took a deep breath and started turning pink even before he completed the dreaded final question that was not even his idea.

“Ladies, Gallifreyans have much more endurance than the overwhelming majority of Humans. That includes... in the bedroom. We've been rediscovering it since a curse that rendered our entire species sterile was lifted, but the average time spent in the... bedroom is greater than what Humans are used to. How would you feel about being with someone whose probable average time will be days?”

The audience burst in shock that echoed, and the sounds made reflected the variety of reactions. From impressed to horrified to feeling inadequate, it was all there.

All four guests' eyes were huge. It took several seconds before any of them could find the air to speak, and it happened to coincide with the audience finally getting themselves under control.

Although Jack spoke first, eyebrows wiggling more than even the Doctor's were capable of. “Well, hello! Sounds like the winner might become one lucky lady. So let's hear what the guests think of that! From Number One to Number Four, please.”

Rose licked her lips. “Well, I never saw the point of a long time in bed, anywhere would do, even the back seat of the bus, but with the right man I'd gladly spend loads of time being pleased.”

The Doctor facepalmed himself. How could anyone have no sense of propriety or the law when it came to sex in public? He knew the Boe-Kind did, rumors aside. And the look on Jack's face proved it.

Martha had to interrupt. “Wait, you have to reciprocate. Pleasing your partner is a mutual thing. I just hope that you'd have enough medicine around just in case there were any seizures from constant orgasms. I mean, I'd be willing to experience that. Although I'm wondering if a Human can stand up to that.”

The hand lowered, although he was still not smiling. At least her objections were reasonable.

River's smile turned hungry. “That sounds like fun and something I've been training for since becoming an adult. I've practiced a lot and would love to prove I can handle that much of it.”

The Doctor shuddered, looking ill. Did she hear how she made herself sound?!

Donna groaned. “Come on! There's more to a relationship than sex! You need to be able to keep each other company. Sex doesn't define me, and I wouldn't make it the reason a relationship works or not. Besides, I'm not out for that nonsense. I want to be company for someone and get that in return. I'm there for my partner instead. And frankly, it sounds like you, Doctor, need someone to stop you from going too far. Never mind that someone needs to knock your ego down to size.”

The Doctor's mouth dropped, all trace of dismay or disgust a distant memory. And his hair suddenly looked like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil had twirled his way through it.

The bell chimed, familiar to the audience and yet making them protest.

“Ooh,” Jack crooned over the disappointment that the learning about Gallifrey was done. “That means we're out of time for questions. I suspect the highlights reel shown later will be unusual. So, Doctor, it's decision time! Is your Destiny Guest Number One, Rose...?”

Rose preened, confident that she had bested all of the others and glaring at River for her evident eagerness to touch the Doctor. Completely unaware of the lack of reaction from her quarry.

“...Number Two, Martha...?”

Martha sat with her hands clasped in front of her, fairly certain she would not be chosen and feeling more okay with that than she had expected. It would not have surprised her to see the lack of interest, but she would have appreciated the respect in his eyes.

“...Number Three, River...?”

River was returning Rose's glare with a 'you think you can beat me, little girl' look, unaware of the outright disgust on her dream lover's face.

“...or Number Four, Donna?”

Donna's hands gripped the chair arms. She did not know what to expect. She thought she had heard interest in his voice when he asked for clarification, but who knew if this alien would like a woman who would challenge him as much as she would. No matter what Alice said.

The Doctor did not hesitate for a moment. “Donna.”

His answer drew a roar of approval from the audience, who were on their feet instantly.

Donna's mouth dropped. She won? How could she win?!

It dawned on her that Alice had been right again.

On Gallifrey, Hera and Zeus breathed sighs of relief and smiled widely. She had been their choice early on, and they were beyond any words to express their delight that he was wiser than they had thought.

“What?!” Rose demanded. “That can't be!”

Martha rolled her eyes. “Yes, it can. We can't all be the sole focus of the world.”

“She's right,” River said, sighing and mentally deciding which pub to hit afterward. “He obviously needs something that he couldn't detect from either of the three of us. Although I can't see what it was.”

“River, there's no fighting here,” Jack called out, voice going unusually hard. “Team?”

Rose shoved her chair back. “Well, she can't win!” she screamed as she lunged at Donna.

The four guards were already on stage, suspecting this was going to be the rare occasion where they might have to intervene. Rose yelped as Gwen took her down hard. “Don't make us send you to prison, bottle blonde,” she hissed.

Toshiko led Donna to the dividing wall, to protect her as much to prepare for the next moment, and the other three kept the peace. Ianto (who few had figured out was also the announcer) and Owen focused on River, knowing Gwen had Rose under control. River looked like she was assessing whether she could manipulate either, but they kept at a distance. Martha stepped well out of the way, not wanting to get caught in the middle and ended up almost next to Donna for safety.

Jack took the Doctor by the arm. “Come on and stand right here.” He guided him to stand with his back toward the dividing wall, which began to pull back as both the Doctor and Donna approached – but only after the technician in charge checked that both had their backs turned to ensure the maximum surprise factor.

With the wall gone Jack made the fateful announcement: “Doctor, meet your Destiny, Donna Noble!”

They turned and each stilled, with him sucking in a breath.

“Well, what do you two think?” Jack asked after the silence lasted far longer than expected, as impatient as the audience to know the answer.

There was another long moment of silence from both of them.

Donna found her voice first. “Well, I normally don't go for the skinny boys, but he's got some nice features. And his voice wouldn't get him kicked out of bed,” she joked, unable to look away as she tried to tell what he thought of her.

“Are you okay, Donna?” Jack asked, concern radiating.

“Just never been anyone's first choice,” she reluctantly admitted.

More than a few of her would-be detractors in the audience thawed a little toward her. Many knew what it was like to feel disregarded by the world.

Jack turned to the silent Time Lord, whose shocked expression had not moved since he caught sight of Donna. Although his pupils had plainly dilated on seeing her and his hair had fluffed up even more in appreciation. “Doctor, what do you think of Donna?”

The Doctor was in a daze. “Ginger. You're ginger,” he breathed, evidently not even hearing Jack's words.

“Been such all my life, teased and bullied enough to drive a more sensitive person to suicide,” Donna admitted, eyes narrowing a little. “Is that a problem?”

Rose, watching from the sidelines, got a sudden hopeful look.

Then any hope the others might have had that the Doctor might change his mind shattered as his shock melted into a huge cheeky grin. “No! Not even slightly. That's brilliant!”

He hugged her tightly, lifting her off her feet and drawing a yelp from her. He felt her arms grab him to feel like she was keeping her balance, giggling at his enthusiasm.

Within moments she was hugging him back. His hug felt lovely, and he seemed convinced that she was his destiny. So she was inclined to let him try to woo her.

The Doctor broke the hug and grabbed her hand. But before he could cry “Allons-y!” and gently tug off-stage so they could go running, Jack touched his arm with a grin.

“Doctor, the selectors are always given the chance to see the ones they did not choose, and are encouraged to say why they didn't choose them.”

All three looked on. One with trepidation and the others with self-righteous anger.

The Doctor had noticed the security when Jack got his attention, but not the three ladies he had not picked. He turned to face the dark-skinned lady standing close to the professional and lovely Asian guard. “Martha, I assume?”

Martha nodded. “Do I want to know why I wasn't chosen?”

“Well... you seem like you'll be more comfortable with Humans. Thought it would be a sticking point. But you were respectful in your opinions, so I can tell you that you definitely earned my respect.”

She sighed in smiling relief. Which turned to a slight blush when the audience applauded. “Thanks,” she said over their cheers.

Jack waved for quiet. “And it's tradition to invite one of the guests back to become a selector. Martha, I think you'll make some Human man feel like the luckiest bloke alive. Will you come back?”

The audience did not need a cue to cheer and encourage her.

Martha laughed at length. “Why not?” She shook Jack's hand on it, and even accepted one from the Doctor. Donna gave her a one-armed hug, as the Doctor had hold of her other hand.

The Doctor's gaze hardened when his eyes fell on the older guest. “You're clearly River. What a shame that someone who could have been so lovely turned out so poorly.”

“How can you say that? You were biased against me from the moment I said my life's work!” she snapped.

“Your life's work is being a thief, making whatever you can off your adventures. And then there's your attitude about relationships. You made yourself sound like a prostitute at best and a slapper at worst.”

Jack's eyebrows widened. “You rank sex workers ahead of slappers?”

“Prostitutes provide a service and get compensation for it. We can argue on the details, but they insist on getting something for their efforts. The same can't be said for slappers, who lack the self-respect to make good choices. And whatever is said of the Boe-Kind, never let it be said that they lack respect for themselves.”

Jack looked on in gratitude.

Of course there was still one guest left. And she would not be silent any longer. “How could you choose her? What does she have that I don't?!” Rose cried.

“Now that I can see you, shall I start above or below the neck? Or should I start with your lack of respect toward others, which clearly stems from your lack of respect for your own mother. I bet she struggled just to give you what you have, and like so many teenagers you are completely ungrateful. You're looking to run away from responsibilities and hard work, neither of which I've shied away from no matter what some of my people would say. And then there's your maturity. Or maybe the lack thereof is the better way of putting it. You're not ready for any responsibility that a wife of a Human man of Earth would have, let alone what a wife of mine would owe to my heritage. Try learning a little self-respect and making your life better through your own efforts.”

The audience members were split in their reactions. Some protested his words, albeit some weakly. Others were silent. And still others applauded, including Jackie.

The Doctor shook himself. “I've had enough of this place. Allons-y, Donna!” She yelped again as he tugged her away, but the laughter suggested that she was willing to hear what he wanted.

Jack laughed as the audience roared and applauded the Doctor's antics. “Well, this definitely looks like Destiny acted tonight! Stay tuned as we find out how our couple from a month ago is faring. Don't go anywhere!”

Hera turned off the television and turned to her husband. “Thank goodness. But how likely is he to succeed with her? She does not seem like she will be easily impressed.”

“Why do you think he chose her? A man enjoys a challenge, and he'll know she has no wrong assumptions about him. Perhaps her fire will tame his worst habits and be the inspiration our people need.”

“We can hope,” Hera sighed. “Do you think he can avoid showing off long enough to woo her into marriage and having his children?”

Zeus cringed. That remained to be seen.


Chapter Five

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
dm12
Aug. 11th, 2015 12:48 pm (UTC)
Ooh, I like the viewpoint from the Doctor's parents at the end, and how worried they are that he won't impress Donna by trying too hard.

The High Council is going to look into River now that she admitted she can regenerate... wonder what they will find. Her arrogance is appalling.

As for Rose, I really hope she takes the Doctor's words to heart. She may have some potential if she does, and moves on. Jackie seemed to appreciate the admonition he gave her daughter; maybe a third party telling Rose like it is will help spur her growth... or maybe not.

I'm so glad he told Martha that, while he didn't choose her, he had high respect for her. And now she's going to get to select someone.

Donna... what can I say? Even his hair noticed her, and he finally realized it. She's ginger, and she even told him off at the end with his last question! He loves both characteristics, apparently, and she seems to think he'll do. All of her answers showed a level of maturity, practicality, and compassion that the others didn't have. He will enjoy the challenge and become a better being for it, as will she.

Are we going to get to see what happens with them now? The one month review? I'd love to see Donna meet the parents! Allons-y!


Edited at 2015-08-11 12:49 pm (UTC)
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
Heh, heh, heh! Yes, this chapter was highly satisfying to write, as were the Doctor's comments to the others. :D

The final part will come up later today. Had it planned for automatic, but I might need to tweak it a little and might as well let it post immediately.

As always, thanks for reviewing!
briarpetal
Aug. 11th, 2015 04:33 pm (UTC)
I absolutely loved the Doctor's reaction to finding out that Donna is Ginger! It made me want to get up and do a happy dance, but since I have a broken toe I just settled for a happy squeal. I loved Donna's reaction to the Doctor as well. Her he'll do was priceless!

Now that the High Council knows about River hopefully they'll step in and either prevent her from regenerating in the first place or take away her ability to do so. Since I don't see her giving up the ability to save him after hearing what he really thinks of her.

I don't have any hope that Rose will take what the Doctor told her and make her life better for herself. Hopefully though, Mickey was watching and will take the Doctor's advice to better himself and dump Rose since she isn't even ready for a steady boyfriend, let alone a husband. I liked the pairing of Mickey and Martha so I'm going to imagine him as the one Martha picks when it's her turn.

I liked the fact that the Doctor told Martha that he respected her. I just don't think they'd make a good couple.

Thank you for the cat fight! I loved it!

I really hate he doesn't get to eager to please Donna now that he's seen her! Although, if he does I can see Donna slapping him to get him back under control.
briarpetal
Aug. 11th, 2015 04:35 pm (UTC)
Oops! I meant hope, not hate! I must have been thinking about the two blondes in the story!
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 06:37 pm (UTC)
First, forgiven on that typo. I still manage to let a few slide in my posts.

Well, partial cat fight. Didn't let it go too far. :)

More coming later today!
cassikat
Aug. 12th, 2015 12:50 am (UTC)
He finally noticed his hair perking up for Donna =D

And he needed that slapdown from Donna about the excessive amount of time in the bedroom - he did, even if he was uncomfortable discussing it, sound like he was bragging about it. :P

Loved that Martha got the respect she earned that she didn't get in canon. And yay, she gets to come back next time and be the selector! Maybe, just maybe, Mickey will be one of her choices, cos he deserves better than Rose. But you're not going to go there, more the pity. Ah well, we can guess and stuff :D

Oh dear, overenthusiastic puppy Doctor has come out to play cos not only did Donna give him the answers he needed, but she's ginger too! But Donna will straighten him out, I've no doubt *L*

...except now we have to have that dreaded meet the parents thing. On both sides. Poor Doctor. Poor Donna.
tkel_paris
Aug. 12th, 2015 01:10 am (UTC)
At this point, it'd be hard to ignore. :D

True. He probably didn't think it was bragging until she snapped at him. :D

Read the final part! It's up! :D

Hope you enjoy the final part, birthday lady! *hugs*
cassikat
Aug. 12th, 2015 11:48 pm (UTC)
True, true. I almost thought it'd tie itself in knots at one point or another :D

Isn't that just a bloke for you though? Alien or human? :D

That's where I'm going next - ran out of time yesterday :(

And I've loved the rest, why wouldn't I love the last part? =D
tkel_paris
Aug. 13th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
*giggles* Maybe after sex. :P

Yep. And only someone with Donna's maturity wouldn't make him feel bad for that.

Not surprised. Glad you managed SOME time to review.

I was pretty sure, but it's always good to get that review. :D
cassikat
Aug. 14th, 2015 12:17 am (UTC)
You're evil. Pure evil. Sorry, no dodging. I now have an ideathing biting me about the Doctor's hair tying itself into knots with Donna's hair. ;DDDDDD

Well, if Martha had been given a chance to get over her crush without having to walk the Earth to save the day the long way around, maaaayyyybe she could. Maybe. But with the canon we have, Donna was definitely the most mature, and therefore the most capable of being a real partner for the Doctor. Speaking of maturity and acquisition thereof, I should have another chapter of that new fic ready for you to look at either Sat or Sun. :D

I just wish I could manage more time at the library. But that would mean not working, no matter how short term the jobs are. Just call me Donna's understudy for the Supertemp job description :P
tkel_paris
Aug. 14th, 2015 04:45 am (UTC)
*snickerfit*
*offers your plot bunny carrots*

Amen. Oh? Cool. :D

I know. I'm probably working more than I did last term in total.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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