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FIC: Blind Date (2/5)

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 accruate. 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

Blind Date

Started July 18, 2015
Finished August 7, 2015

Chapter Two: Establishing the Big Picture

The Doctor looked at the cards he was given to write down his notes before the show started. He hated having to use them, but it was the tradition on the show. He also thought it might be best to not indicate how alien he really was compared to a Human man. Well, not right away, he thought.

He sighed and began with more general questions. “Rose, describe your life so far and how you feel life has treated you.”

Rose grimaced. “Well, I live in east London. Life hasn't been kind, so I've had to live with my mother.”

In the audience Jackie Tyler glared at her daughter. It was small comfort that the people around her were murmuring in disapproval over how derogatory Rose's words were. “I wish I was allowed to speak to protest that,” she grumbled to her friend.

I work as a self stacker in a shop to make ends meet, but I yearn for something better,” Rose added, smiling to hide her disgust over having to put her life into words. Given the bright lights it was easy for her to not see her mother's reactions. “Life has been harsh to me and I'd love to get away from it all.”

You can hope that she'll betray herself in some way,” the friend muttered as Rose finished speaking.

The Doctor frowned. How brief the description was bothered him, and her words about getting away made him think about how his parents accused him of fleeing his responsibilities to his family. “What about family? How did you learn?”

Rose suppressed her groan from being caught by the microphones. “I'm an only child. My dad died when I was a baby. Mum's... had boyfriends, but no one serious. I went to school until something bad happened to me and I dropped out because of a boy. I don't like talking about it.”

The finality in her tone made more than a few people wonder what the reason was. And the Doctor was one of them. He decided to shelve his other questions until later.

Martha, same question.”

Martha's answer came much more relaxed than her predecessor's. “I'm one of three children. My brother is engaged and has a son. He's working on becoming a computer programmer. My sister is an assistant to a lab professor. I learned how to argue from my lawyer mum, integrity and loyalty from my dad, and medicine from Professor Stokes at Royal Hope Hospital. I'm looking for stability since my family has seen very little of it since a... bleach blonde came between my parents.”

Given the look in her eyes, many were stunned that she kept her obvious anger out of her tone. And none were surprised that she clearly placed Rose in the same category. Or that she ignored the 'what-are-you-looking-at-me-for' glare Rose sent her.

As for how life has treated me, it's been fine. But life isn't fair, it's what you make out of it. I'm not going to wait for things to come to me. I have to make them happen.”

The Doctor nodded, satisfied that she was not concealing anything. And she also seemed like a person willing to make a difference. Although he wondered if one of the other guests was a bleach blonde. Not that it would eliminate them, but he did not understand trying to alter your appearance. Even if he had wondered if he could dye his own hair ginger. “How about you, River?”

Her smirk was out in force. “Oh, my life story is complicated and there're quite a few spoilers involved. But I think I can say this much,” she added on a more sober note. “I was kidnapped as a baby from my parents, and manipulated for years with brainwashing by my captors.”

The audience, and the Doctor included, were more willing to be sympathetic toward her. No one should have to endure that, and the Doctor was willing to make some allowances. Depending on her answers.

I finally escaped, although it definitely messed with my head. I was finally reunited with my parents a few years ago. My quest for the truth inspired me to train as an archaeologist.”

The Doctor's hand didn't move to cover his mouth fast enough to hide the sneer on his face. It was not an answer he was looking for.

Jack and most of the audience noticed, and some of the latter made noises of confusion. The Boe-Kind wanted to ask questions, but had to hold his tongue.

River, unknowing of what was happening on the other side of the wall, carried on. “I've made excitement in my life, but it's always better to have someone to share it with. So life has been a mixture of good and bad for me. I decided to seize the day and make events happen, not just react to them.”

In other words, she meddled in things that likely didn't concern her or need meddling with. The Doctor could not overlook that. Some might say that was the pot calling the bettle black, but he had a legitimate reason for each act of 'meddling' he committed. He questioned whether she did. Sighing, he carried on. “Donna, what about you?”

Donna sat up straighter, ready to be honest. “I'm an only child, not by anyone's choice. I had a brother once, but... not for very long. I wanted to be a lot of things – a carpenter, a diver, and a doctor were that umbrella – but I was discouraged from practically all of them. I had trouble in school because I kept getting bored. I completed the work months before everyone else. I'm close to my dad and granddad, and have a... difficult relationship with my mum. Yet I wouldn't be who I am today without her, so I do love her and respect her for loving me enough to say no to me when I need to learn to respect boundaries. Without that I wouldn't have learned respect for her, let alone proper respect for others and myself. Yet I've always been compassionate, so it found fertile ground in me – even though I was headstrong and stubborn. Still am, I'll admit.”

She ignored the disbelieving look on Rose's face. She had a story to tell and was going to have her say.

I pay the bills by temping, mostly as a secretary. I spent time in a library learning the Dewey Decimal system backwards and forwards, and have the fastest typing speed in Chiswick. I'm afraid life has definitely been unfair to me, as much for things I did that weren't the best as things that happened to me. I thought about doing something to change one thing about my appearance that has been part of why others have looked on me unfairly, but my dad and granddad and gran convinced me to take pride in it. So I've begun to go back to the curious mentality I had as a child: read widely, be ready to learn about anything, and... I'm looking for a way to walk in the dust, because we Humans are a tiny part of the universe. I want to go out and do something worthwhile.”

The Doctor's eyebrows were almost in his hairline. Donna's answers were intriguing and showed a level of maturity that almost seemed Time Lady-like. And barely heard the applause that started without any prompting from a stagehand. While the director liked to think he ran the show, Jack had far more say than any other host could dream of.

What's your next question, Doctor?” Jack prompted, noting that it looked like the Time Lord wanted to continue talking with Donna alone. And that his hair was not quite as flat as it had been before Donna started talking.

Clearing his throat the Doctor looked at the next card in his hand. “History is very important to Gallifreyan society, along with tradition and not causing harm to others. I hate seeing knowledge forgotten and people unacknowledged when they should be honoured. Not that everyone wants to be honoured, but an awareness of what you owe to others is important. How do you feel about history and preserving it for the future? Rose, you're first.”

She grimaced and shrugged. “It's never been a favourite topic, especially in school. I never saw a point to it, but maybe you could teach me.”

He frowned, feeling a rage burning inside him at her attitude and words, and felt the need to bite his tongue before he said something, or simply got up and walked out. Instead, he made the decision to move the question along. Hopefully one of the others would have an answer he liked. “Martha?”

Knowing history is important, and I know this because I can trace ancestors who were.... victims of it.” Martha was aware that they were supposed to avoid revealing what they looked like, so she could not admit that she was born from people who were descended from slaves, though Africans were not alone in that shared history. So she had thought about how to allude to that without saying too much.

The Doctor had a sinking feeling he knew what she meant, and he wondered how he would be able to avoid showing that he had figured it out. And he would never admit that he knew what it was to be a slave.

Martha carried on, ignoring the audience's reactions along with those of her fellow guests. “So I was taught to learn as much as I could to understand why things happened and to figure out why we have the world we live in. I'd love to learn even more. I've helped with efforts to raise awareness of history and keep historic buildings around.”

Her answers pleased him, and his hair seemed to fluff a little on its own. “River?”

Preserving and learning about history is part of my job, so I'd love more opportunities to learn even more and see more,” she said, with pride. “I've helped restore places and events to the knowledge of Humanity.”

Hera and Zeus shook in their boots, riled as hell. They hoped their son would respond in kind.

The Doctor had to interrupt, spluttering into speaking as his hair went flat immediately. “Wait, wait, wait. No, Jack, don't interrupt on this one,” he hissed, motioning for quiet. The act went against what he had been told to do, but no one could think to do more than Jack's opening his own mouth. “So you avoided damaging the sites, like most archaeologists have? And how do you know that you interpreted the information correctly?”

River was stunned that he was challenging her, thrown enough that her answer surprised many. “Do you have a problem with archaeologists?”

I believe my question explained it, but I'll gladly elaborate for the sake of teaching the audience an important truth about archaeology. In digging up history you destroy history. You have to remove the protection afforded by nature, layers of soil and silt, and risk not preserving anything.” He held back from saying how he normally reacted to them. “So what's your answer?”

Of course I try to be careful. Unfortunately some of the sites have been in dangerous places and I had to defend myself and my team. And it's not like we do much digging anymore. Shame.”

The Doctor's face showed a sense of doubt and he scoffed loudly. “I suppose you were also involved in restoration work?”


Shame. I hate restoration work. They tell you nothing of the history or the loss, and only tell you what the restorer thought the building or object should look like. It's more about the person's imagination than historical fact. That attitude is so Howard Carter. He wasn't an archaeologist. He was a thief. Donna?”

Jack leaned back in his chair and swallowed. The Doctor's patient gene was out and active, obviously.

Donna's eyes were wide and thoughtful over his objections to River's occupation, and she recovered her focus when she heard her name. Although she had to wait for River to accept the director's shushing motions. “I read every history book I could get my hands on growing up. And lately I've read even more, and I want to learn more, because I think the books got a lot of it wrong. And the history is often written by the victor; I mean, look at the rubbish the Romans wrote about the Etruscans. I agree with Martha for the reasons for learning, but my reasons are different. I can't find information from a reliable source for why the biases I've dealt with exist, so I'd love to find out why they exist so we can figure out a way to counteract them. You can't remove a government program or handle prejudices without knowing the history behind them and why they're there. You have to find out what purpose – if any – they originally served or were expected to serve. I understand that you're supposed to keep others from meddling with history, so I imagine you have to be aware of a lot of things to make sure things go the way they're supposed to.”

She would be a fun person to take to ancient Rome or before, the Doctor thought. Nodding approvingly, he looked at his questions list. “I'm aware that a lot of species have strong biases against anyone different from themselves or whatever is considered the norm for their culture. How accepting are you of people who look vastly unlike Humans, or who live their lives very differently than you do? Rose?”

Rose grimaced. “Well, it's unsettling to see anyone who looks... alien. I don't think I'd have a problem with your species since apparently Gallifreyans and Humans look alike. I like people who aren't too different. Coz, some people look so different they're like... alien. I grew up with black people and Asian people, so some differences are, like, only skin deep. And my mum always says you shouldn't judge someone until you know them. I suppose if someone had bright blue skin, or lived in a box, or flirted with a tree or something, I'd have a problem with that.”

Some of the audience grimaced, some more than others. The sense of a lack of acceptance of individual differences made them all feel bad for the Doctor. Jackie was nodding grimly, suspecting that Rose was close to eliminating herself already.

The Doctor was vibrating, eyes dark and dangerous. He took offense not only for himself, but for every species that needed a 'box' to survive. Especially the being at the heart of his TARDIS. But he was also offended on behalf of the Daleks since it wasn't there fault that they also had to live inside 'boxes'. Not to mention the homeless in London, or other parts of Earth. He immediately moved on. “Martha?”

I know about being treated differently because of appearance or background. I can't say I know enough to avoid biased thinking, but I'm ready and willing to learn.”

She was too stunned by Rose's answer to add anything to that.

He nodded. “Good. River?”

Oh, I have no problem with dating outside of my species. I've been out with androids and all sorts of species. I enjoy differences. It makes life more interesting.”

The lascivious tone in her voice, while subtle, was easily caught by the Doctor and Jack. The latter looked willing to date her, if only once, but the Doctor was pursing his lips.


I think hating someone just because they're different is the sign of a person who's either uneducated or simply unwilling to accept that there's more than one way to live your life,” she immediately said. “I see friends who are gay lashed out at for failing to conform to expectations of how men and women are supposed to be. I've also seen gays lashing out at heterosexual men for what they see as insular, rather than accepting that not everyone is like them. And different races can be just as racist to themselves as they are to others, just because their skin tone is lighter or darker. A lot of those objectors are very religious, and I wonder how they don't see what they're saying is insulting to their God; they're saying that his own creations are wrong and shouldn't exist. How do they know that these 'different' people aren't behaving exactly as they're supposed to be? And frankly, I wonder if there are really more than two genders. If there are, it would explain a lot and more people would feel comfortable with how they are and a lot of surgeries wouldn't be contemplated. And each alien species is right for the planet they come from, so why hate them simply for not looking like you? I suspect you might not look entirely Human, and that's fine as far as I'm concerned. I don't judge on looks or religion. For me it's how you live your life and how you treat others.”

In their room on Gallifrey, the Doctor's parents noted the growing interest and intrigue on the Doctor's face over Donna. Not to mention how his hair was definitely standing up, if not all the way. They shared their own curious look.

Jack started the applause, to the shock of his director and staff. When it quieted, on his hand motions, he blurted out, “On behalf of many who are different, thank you for holding that viewpoint, Donna!”

I don't think I should be thanked for doing what's compassionate and feels like the most... well, humane thing to think,” Donna justified.

It's sad that it's notable. Anyway, on to the Doctor's next question!”

Chapter Three


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 9th, 2015 07:30 am (UTC)
Haha, yes River's answers are pretty IC, but I can't help liking her anyway x3 (She and Jack would have made one hell of a couple!) Rose is really the only companion I can't stand :/

Love that the Doctor admitted (if only to himself) that he'd dye his hair ginger!
Aug. 10th, 2015 05:37 pm (UTC)
I'd like to like her, but I've looked at her as a person too much to have much respect for her. I think her line to that one Dalek and shooting the fez were the only two moments I really liked her. Rose... I've known too many girls like her.

Agreed. :D
Aug. 9th, 2015 05:50 pm (UTC)
Oh, and now we're into the questions, and Rose shows how immature she is. *snort* And River...I know that's likely canon-style answers, but I just wanna line her and Rose up and do a double bap-slap, knock their heads together kinda thing :P

Loving Martha though, and adoring Donna even more - how do you do that? :D
Aug. 10th, 2015 05:38 pm (UTC)
Ooh! Is that a request? Because I can think of someone else who'd like that as a birthday present. :D

I guess I'm both talented and have a great beta. :D
Aug. 11th, 2015 09:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, are you taking requests? Cos that's something I'd love to see :D

Yes, and yes. Very much so.

And I just, on re-reading to reply to this, noticed the mood hair. And it really did reflect his moods... the hair likes Donna too *snickersnort*
Aug. 11th, 2015 10:06 pm (UTC)
Well... we'll see. ;)
Aug. 9th, 2015 10:49 pm (UTC)
In the US version, they didn't give names, did they? Just 1,2,3, and 4.

Martha and Donna seem to be the best contenders, I think. Donna, though, has just that little bit of extra compassion to go along with the thought processes, not to mention a little more maturity. River is way too smug. Oops, and there goes Rose, with her comments about someone living in a box. Insulting the TARDIS like that is a definite no no! Not to mention blue...

(Martha probably would have been a fantastic companion for the Doctor in canon, if only he hadn't been so busy pining over Rose... and if she didn't fall for him.)

Ooh, his parents were riled up at River, too. At least the Doctor did actually respond to that, and that gave Donna the "in" she needed.

Lastly, it was funny how his hair was responding starting out flat and standing up with interest when Donna was talking... I've always said that Ten's hair had personality! Even his parents are noticing.
Aug. 10th, 2015 05:59 pm (UTC)
Not sure about the Brit version, but TM didn't suggest changing it. Besides, Jack probably doesn't like reducing people to numbers in light that he... is probably a clone himself. :/

Agreed. On all points. And the hair? How could I not mention that? :D
Aug. 10th, 2015 07:06 pm (UTC)
Just looked up "Blind Date" and "The Dating Game." I think this format is closer to "The Dating Game" in that it involved asking questions to several possible dates before going on a date with the chosen one. Originally, the potentials were just numbered, but the newer version used first names.

The US version of "Blind Date" is more that two people were thrown together on a series of dates and followed around, often to hilarious and awkward results. The show-runners would edit with thought bubbles, subtitles, etc. before the episode was shown to the public to add to the hilarity.

All that said, the UK version of "The Dating Game" was in fact called "Blind Date!" How confusing is that? It was really fun researching all of that!
Aug. 10th, 2015 11:32 pm (UTC)
I remember Blind Date. I still prefer "Rendez-view". :) It is confusing, but I went with Moley's suggestions since I know very little about such things over there.
Aug. 10th, 2015 07:21 am (UTC)
OMG- the Doctor has 'mood hair'? The thought of this alone makes me happier than just about anything should at 5:00 AM on a Monday morning. I'm looking forward to the next round of questioning.
Aug. 10th, 2015 05:40 pm (UTC)
*giggles* Well, it seems like it. I mean, why else would his hair be sticking up the further into DT's time as the Doctor we got? (At least until WoM.)

Glad you like! And thanks for the links. Now that I'm home I'll copy them to my own computer/Dropbox as soon as I can.
Aug. 10th, 2015 07:08 pm (UTC)
Well... it could be that he was grooming it that way, but I prefer to think the hair itself stood at attention for Donna! See how it went back to its flat look after (especially for the 50th anniversary show)? The hair got depressed!
Aug. 10th, 2015 11:32 pm (UTC)
No argument here! :D
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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