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FIC: Blind Date (3/5)

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


Blind Date

Started July 18, 2015
Finished August 7, 2015


Chapter Three: The Details Matter, Too

Now the Doctor decided it was time to mix things up. Thanks to Gwen he had found seemingly random questions that would tell him a lot about each woman.

“What's your idea of a perfect weekend? Rose?”

Rose frowned briefly. “I dunno. Dossing about. Me and my mate, Shareen, we used to hang around down by the shops and look at boys. Nice smile, nice bum. If they have a nice round bum, that means they have good muscles for a good drive. Sex needs goods muscles.”

While many agreed with the sentiment, the expression during a first meeting made many cringe. Including Jackie because she believed there were some things you should keep to yourself on a first date.

Even Jack paled in disgust. And it was clear that the Doctor followed the same thinking as his hair deflated again. “Martha?”

Martha needed no time to think. “Not having to think about going to work, getting all of the laundry done and my mum not nagging me to keep my head in my studies. I'm studying all week. I can take a couple of hours to deal with normal stuff like shopping and housework and seeing friends. Except, my mum doesn't see it like that.”

He nodded, remembering his Academy days. “Sounds like some things are universal. River?”

She grinned. “I'm an archaeologist. I dig holes for relaxation. I'd dig them in my sleep, if I could. Though, there's less actual digging involved these days. Today it's all scans and resonance readings. 3-D imaging without actually disturbing anything. My perfect weekend would be Asgard. Never been. No one's allowed. That's one mystery I would love to crack.”

In their room, Zeus wondered aloud, “Would she still think so if she knew why it's not allowed?”

“Undoubtedly,” Hera immediately answered.

The Doctor was equally unimpressed and did not bother to hide his contempt from the cameras this time. He knew exactly why no one was allowed there. And he had no inclination to waste a regeneration to explain. “Donna?”

She sighed, reflective. “Two things come to mind, and which I'd prefer would depend on how my week went. 1. Breakfast in bed, but not before ten, and a long walk in the country with a picnic. Fish and chips. Then, in front of the telly to watch a rom-com, with a tub of Pringles and a late night cuddle on the sofa. On Sunday, much the same, but skip the rom-com, coz you can overdo them. Give me a sit-com and a bag of jelly babies. 2. Go somewhere, forget the world and my nagging mother, have someone else feed me and not have to worry about cooking anything. Sunbathing; that's always relaxing. Why, you got plans?”

The casualness of her answer, not to mention her mention of liking a long-time favorite Earth food, nearly made the Doctor forget his next question. He silently cleared his throat. “Um, not yet. Usually don't.”

“Why doesn't that surprise me?” she laughed.

He choked on a laugh, unaware of his hair sticking up even more than before.

Jack chuckled as the audience shared in the amusement, unknowing of the smiles being shared in the private viewing room. “Let's go on to the next question.”

The Doctor recovered himself. “You have an unexpected £500 windfall. What would you do with the money? Rose?”

Rose was unusually thoughtful. “I could use a new pair of jeans. Though my mate, Shareen, she gets them off the market on a Tuesday morning. She nicked us each a pair that were genuine label Levi's and they lasted us for a year before we had to get a bigger size. What would I do with 500 quid...? I could get my mum a mobile. Then she wouldn't be on the phone in the flat all the time. I could get one, too. A better one, coz mine doesn't take pictures. It's a dinosaur.”

Her words made it sound like she cared little for the rights and feelings of others, much less the law. The Doctor gave Jack a pointed look and mouthed, “How old is she?”

Jack could not answer, but grimaced back. The point was well taken.

“Martha?” the Doctor said, not hiding how ready he was to change direction.

Martha's answer was prompt. “That would pay off my overdraft. For a month, anyway. With a bit left over for a meal deal from Greggs. I love their subs.”

That said a lot about her situation and determination. Becoming a physician was not cheap, as he had noticed. He still did not like having to deal with money, but he could respect practicality where resources were concerned. “River?”

River laughed. “Five hundred? That won't get you far. It could get you a loaf of bread on Mygis 5. What do I need money for, anyway? I can always break in somewhere and get want I wanted, and leave before anyone saw me.”

The reaction was immediate. Ranging from dismay to shocked awe, it was clear that the brazenness was not going over very well with the audience.

The Doctor had to retort that one. “So you're a thief and don't regret it?”

That made her pause. “Well, I've had to be. Because-”

“But you talk like you have the choice not to be and didn't care. The way you're talking, I think you think that breaking into a bank is a faceless crime. It isn't. Those losses must be recouped and it's the unfortunate bank customers who have to pay. Donna?”

Donna snorted at the abrupt change, glared at River for her attitude (not that the glib woman had the ability to speak then), and was ready to offer a different perspective. “I'd pay the mortgage. It would just about cover one month's instalment. That would be a chink out of the noose around my neck. Now, if it was a bit more than that, I'd be happy. I could pay all my bills.”

“Donna, do I hear air quotations there?” asked the Doctor.

“No, that was emphasis.”

“Why?”

She groaned. “Because some of the bills in question are actually my parents' bills. Children are supposed to be able to help their parents out by this point in their lives, something I'm reminded of regularly, and I would like to be able to support them a bit better than I can at present.”

“Okay, I understand now.” The Doctor paused to prepare. “Next question: which would you prefer- to do something that benefits many people, but you don't get any public acclaim or to do something that makes you famous but isn't very important? Rose?”

She scoffed. “Who cares as long as it gets done, yeah? I couldn't be bothered with any of them famous people anyway. I don't even know who my MP is.”

The Doctor sighed loudly. “How do you expect to make things change if you don't know who to go to? Martha?”

Martha noticed his exasperation and hoped her answer would be a relief to hear. “Medicine is all about making a difference. I didn't go into medicine for the acclaim. I just wanted to give something back for surviving an illness when I was little. Do for others what those doctors did for me. It's important to be a part of a team, not to take all of the praise for myself.”

It did soften his face and make him smile. At least until he remembered who would be speaking next. With some reluctance, he spoke her name. “River?”

“I used to think getting acclaim was a good thing,” she admitted. “Then I heard of the most amazing man. He never gets the credit for anything he does and it doesn't bother him. Mind you, he has an ego that doesn't need inflating. So, if he can go without acclaim, so can I. That said, a woman loves to be noticed on occasion.”

He had a sneaking suspicion that she meant him, and for once his ego deflated at the thought. He was quite certain he could live quite comfortably without her notice. “Donna?”

“Well, the question's a no brainer,” she boldly stated. “Selflessness is, in my opinion, the best way to help the most people in the shortest amount of time. Being famous might open a few doors for a while, but it only benefits yourself. I can't stand those stuffed shirts who get up and do speeches about how brilliant they are. It's the people on the ground, actually doing the work, that interest me. The ones who don't do it for the thanks. Like Brad and Angelina. They do stuff all over the world and talk about teamwork and not themselves. That gets my attention.”

The Doctor's eyes widened slightly. He had not heard of someone who focused on the unpaid work of someone called a celebrity, rather than following the celebrity themselves. It meant that she had some depths that were yet to be focused on. He switched cards. “Next question: cats or dogs? Rose?”

She groaned her answer. “Definitely not cats. We had one, a long hair, needed to be groomed twice a day and she kept bringing in all the strays from the estate and having kittens, the dirty slut. There was one big male cat; he kept coming in, making like he lived here and spraying everywhere. So we took them both down the RSPCA. Glad to get shot of them. And we're not allowed dogs. Good job too, coz they're noisy and chew the furniture.”

While he could appreciate her lack of love for cats, he was not pleased with the expression. While the cat owners in the audience booed her, the Doctor quickly changed focus, grateful there were no cat people in the audience. “Martha?”

Martha grimaced, but her tone was gentler than her predecessor's. “Ugh, I can't be done with either. There's far too many cats and dogs just interrupt me while I'm trying to study. I don't know why people bother with dogs. They get them when they're puppies and cute and then they dump them in the back garden all alone. No offence to any alien dogs or cats, but I'd rather have Human company.”

That was an attitude the Doctor could respect. She had a reason for her dislike, and pointed out a cruel truth about a lot of Humans. Except that she preferred Humans. That could be a sticking point. He sighed quietly. “River?”

River tightened her eyebrows. “Aren't they protein packs? I prefer chicken, myself. And it still looks like the animal it came from.”

The reactions of the audience were instant and disapproving. And both Jack and the Doctor cringed visibly.

River scoffed. “Not every culture has the same animals as pets. Go to other parts of your world and you'll see what I mean,” she insisted.

In the viewing room on Gallifrey, Hera turned wide eyes on Zeus. “What a frightful Human. I do hope he does not pick her. Look at our son's hair. If this goes on much longer, the follicles will lose cohesion and leave him bald.”

“Do you need a chair, my love? I fear I will need one. Protein packs? She is giving me indigestion, and at my age that could be fatal.”

Hera huffed through her nose. “Be of cheer, my husband. I think it's just as well she doesn't know about Gallifreyan pets. Theta's Badger might put her off androids and protein packs in one go.”

The Doctor decided it was best to not interrupt. He knew of pets that would horrify even the most hardened Humans, especially those kept on Gallifrey once upon a time. Like Humans, for example. The War Games were still fresh in his mind. But while it was a painful truth about some parts of the universe, it was not exactly cricket to mention it where it was neither necessary nor true. “What about you, Donna?”

“Dogs, every time,” she answered immediately. “You can train dogs to be useful and earn their keep. They're assistance dogs for the blind and disabled, are used to detect things such as explosives and drugs, and can tell when their owners are about to have an epileptic episode. Cats just eat, sleep and dig up your flowerbed. Unless you live on a farm, and then they might keep the rodent population under control and from damaging crops.”

It made the Doctor smile, remembering the efforts he put into programming K-9.

Jack, who could see the reactions of the guests from his seat (without the Doctor seeing them), noticed that Rose and River were glaring at each other and Donna. He worried that this might be the one time when the security would be needed to prevent a murder.


Chapter Four

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
dm12
Aug. 10th, 2015 12:57 pm (UTC)
Right... Donna did have a dog, didn't she, before Lance convinced her to get rid of it? That was an excellent answer! Dogs are extremely trainable, and have many uses (not to mention that they love unconditionally). Cats are useful for mousing. Throughout, she's really thinking about the practicalities. Of course, being the last one to answer each question, one might argue she has the most chance to think about her answer and see what response the others' answers get. Might be good to have her get the first answer to really showcase how thoughtful and mature she is.

I see River is sort of trying (unsuccessfully)to redeem herself with the imaging instead of actual digging into archaeological sites. She's still digging herself a hole! I kind of thought about that when the Doctor was arguing with her about disturbing sites. Imaging can do all sorts of things, including opening up ancient scrolls that were nearly burnt up and seeing what's written inside! All virtually, without damaging them. At least her comment about selflessness forced him to think a little about his own ego, even if he never does stay around for thanks.

Oh, Rose and River... you keep making the Doctor's hair go flat! And Donna keeps making it stand up to attention. Even the hair wants to hear what Donna has to say! Hera's comments about his hair follicles was funny.

Donna's comments on Brad and Angelina explains her interest in celebrities; it's not the shallow interest we were supposed to believe, but their works to benefit others, without hassle, without taking credit for the hard work others are doing in the project. Just getting it done, publicizing others' work on it. Apparently using the fact that people know who they are to educate them about worthy causes.

I could just see Donna's "air quotes" around the "my" bills. She's right, most kids by her age would want to help their parents if they could and if the parents need it. It's not that she doesn't want to, it's that she can't. Why, because others around her discouraged her from entering fields where she might have excelled and done well for herself. Now, she's still trying to find herself with temp jobs and struggling to make ends meet.

Martha's determination is also very laudable; I like her a lot, too.

I hope murder can be avoided...
briarpetal
Aug. 10th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
It's probably because I have a headache right now, but I wouldn't mind if River killed Rose, or vice versa right now.

I think Rose and River have both eliminated themselves by now with their answers. I loved it when the Doctor asked Jack just how old Rose was. I think the Doctor is going to do everything he can to avoid meeting River again in the future.

I love Ten's hair! I wish there was someway for him to find out what his hair is doing.

I agree with Zeus and Hera. Rose and River are making me sick with their answers to. I'd be happy thinking that they're just characters in a TV show, except I had a neighbor who was like Rose.

Rose's friend isn't going to be happy with her if the police or her employer is watching the show.
dm12
Aug. 10th, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, but the Doctor would feel horribly guilty for it, as he always does. So it's best to avoid outright murder!

I liked that he asked, too. Rose is too young and immature for him, River is too smug in her attitudes, not to mention her own thieving ways. Right, Rose's friend isn't going to be very happy with her, especially since she publicly revealed her name.

I'd say it's between Martha and Donna. Both are lovely in their own right, and show a level of maturity.

So, even though, chronologically, they are all too young for the Doctor, I think Martha and maybe even more so, Donna, would be more mentally similar in age. Donna's main goal seems to be to try to make a difference with what skills she has. Temping, believe it or not, is the ideal preparation for the kind of life the Doctor leads. Both go into a situation cold, must get the job done quickly and efficiently, then move on to the next one. You have to think fast!

Ten's hair is a character in its own right!
briarpetal
Aug. 10th, 2015 05:43 pm (UTC)
I agree that outright murder would be a bad thing. However, a cat fight would be fun to read about.

I agree that Martha is a lovely character, when she's not pining over the Doctor. I enjoyed her character much more after she got over her crush on the Doctor. I'd like to see Donna and Martha become friends, like they hinted at on the show. I think they both need a friend who doesn't judge them or tear them down making them feel bad about themselves so they can feel better.

I think Donna is the most prepared Companion the Doctor ever had because of her Temping skills. Including Romana, who while a fellow Time Lord, wasn't at all prepared for the reality of time travel and meeting other species in person and interacting with them in a way that didn't make it look like she was putting every other species down. Temping is the very hard skill to master because you need so many different skills to be successful at it. Donna should be proud of what she's been able to accomplish with her skills.

I do love his hair! Although I love Donna's more. I can't wait for the Doctor to see her. I can just imagine him thinking of all of the Ginger Time Babies they could have together.
dm12
Aug. 10th, 2015 06:00 pm (UTC)
Martha had the potential to be an excellent companion for the Doctor, if only she didn't fall head over heels for him. She was strong, she was determined, and she was willing to go the extra mile(s). The only problem was that she was over-awed by him; Donna clearly wasn't, and she was willing to cut his ego down to size when it would benefit him. I do believe that she and Donna would make great friends.

[Temping is the very hard skill to master because you need so many different skills to be successful at it. Donna should be proud of what she's been able to accomplish with her skills.] That's for absolute sure!

As for Donna's hair, it is absolutely gorgeous, especially when she leaves the natural wave in and keeps it down. The Doctor's hair, though, has real personality, at least in this incarnation!

Oh, yes, the Doctor will love her hair. A bit jealous, but then start thinking immediately about Ginger Time Babies. I think there might be some other parts of her he will also like. I lost track of the number of times he eyed them (in one episode alone!)....
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 02:49 am (UTC)
Oh, you noticed in that episode, too? Yes, you could make a drinking game of how often the Doctor seems to look at Donna's boobs. :D
dm12
Aug. 11th, 2015 03:00 am (UTC)
Of course I noticed! I did try to count, but lost count after 10. I really could have used one of those clicker counters I had in the lab for counting bacterial colonies on a plate! Alas, I never got one.
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 02:48 am (UTC)
Nearly had that in "Foreseen Wife". Only Jack got in the way and had them both taken... Eh, if you haven't read it yet I won't spoil it. :)

Amen to those comments. Donna was the best prepared. That doesn't mean she was less fun. If anything that made her more able to help the Doctor.

Yes. He will be. ;D
dm12
Aug. 11th, 2015 03:02 am (UTC)
Of course I read it. I loved it; Zeus & Hera were there, too.
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 02:46 am (UTC)
All comments Amened. :D

And I see I now have a third plot bunny from this string of comments. Oy vey. :)
dm12
Aug. 11th, 2015 03:04 am (UTC)
Oy vey indeed. The more the merrier. Can I feed them some carrots?
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 07:02 am (UTC)
No. I have other ideas that are LONG overdue. I might use ONE of these new ones as a birthday pressie for someone, though...
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 02:45 am (UTC)
Great, now it's official. I have two plot bunnies. O.O

Yep. Thank goodness for AUs, eh?

He'll notice. Eventually. :P

I've worked with girls a lot like Rose, and known some women like River. They're really hard to like once you've noticed the uglier details of their characters; the good doesn't outweigh the bad.

Ooh... Good thought.
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 02:43 am (UTC)
That's how I interpreted her comments then. Also, she's rather practical even in her so-called "dim" moments. As for the timing, I think the show has a set schedule. Rose was feeling hyper confident and demanded to go first, River was the same but didn't demand to go first, Martha didn't care, and Donna... might have wanted to go last. Or else someone in production might've chosen her to go last because they suspected that the Doctor might be in a better mood for asking questions if she was last to answer the previous one.

Exactly. TM explained a lot to me and now I fully agree. Shi did some and knows about the necessity for conservation over all else. Hah! I love that you like his realizing his ego needed checking. :D

Moley is partly to thank for that. I decided hair action was needed, and got extra suggestions that I liked a lot.

I'm not crazy about causes where a celebrity is known to be supporting, unless I have a reason to want to support the cause to begin with. I know people with tinnitus, and so when William Shatner disclosed that he had it (explosion on set that also gave it to Leonard Nemoy) and was supporting the American Tinnitus Association my family paid attention.

I'm looking forward to feeling more secure in taking care of myself. My parents do fine and should do fine for a while, but I wish I didn't need their help. I wish I could help them instead. And yes, it would be better if I'd chosen a career that would've gotten me a head start on where I am now.

I like Martha a lot, and I like her even better in fiction. Because there's the option of writing out the crush. :)

Oh, don't give me a new plot bunny! o.O
briarpetal
Aug. 11th, 2015 05:30 am (UTC)
Two plot bunnies are better then no plot bunnies! I'd love to read what you come up with for them.

I'm really looking forward to Ten discovering what his hair is doing!

I love all of your stories. I read them over and over again. Especially when I don't feel good. So it looks like it's time to start reading them again.
tkel_paris
Aug. 11th, 2015 06:04 am (UTC)
Actually, three. Yikes. :)

It'll be up later tonight. I set it to post automatically to save myself time later on.

Aw, thanks! :D
cassikat
Aug. 12th, 2015 12:39 am (UTC)
A badger? Really? The Doctor has a pet badger? And just how does he keep it from getting in everywhere it's not supposed to? :D

Dogs are absolutely wonderful, I have four. And each and every one of them is a bundle of love on four feet just waiting to ambush with assault kisses *giggle*

The hair strikes again! I wonder if anyone in the audience is noticing? And I can't remember...is it lifting a little for Martha's answers too? Cos it should. Just a teensy bit.

And odd note I noticed when I was watching some of S2 for another story. The hair is flat. Pretty much constantly flat. It doesn't become mood hair until after he's had the Donna kick in the bum to find someone. So while the Doctor may have thought he was in love with Rose, his hair knew better ;D
tkel_paris
Aug. 12th, 2015 01:09 am (UTC)
Yes, but I suspect it's either on Gallifrey or kept hidden away in the TARDIS. Hmm... if Rose met the Badger and demanded he get rid of it, I could see him getting rid of her instead.

Ah, yes. I've been warned to not get one because of my allergies, but I love them. And I've read that kids raised around dogs won't have as many allergies. So... one day. :D

I bet they are. And giggling over it. :P And yes, it is.

Exactly. And it was mostly flat with Martha, wasn't it? It went crazy before he met Donna in PiC, which makes me wonder if his hair is more in tune with his time senses than he is. :P
cassikat
Aug. 12th, 2015 11:45 pm (UTC)
I vote for hidden away on the TARDIS...the Doctor doesn't seem like the sort who'd abandon a pet. I'm just trying NOT to imagine Rose's reaction to the Badger - imagine howling laughter making people think there's a hyena in the library *L*

Bad allergies to pet dander, huh? *hug*

Good. Cos Martha deserved a notice from the Hair... I almost think it's as much a symbiotic entity as the TARDIS in this story *giggle*

*points at icon* Horrible angle, but it's not flat hair. But definitely not the gravity-defying mop it became in S4 unless he was doing it himself with ruffling etc.
tkel_paris
Aug. 13th, 2015 12:38 am (UTC)
Well, at home where he doesn't have to worry about him/her not getting enough attention was my thinking. *giggles* Ooh, I might have to use that! :DDDDDD

Somewhat. I can handle it better now, and I think determination will help.

You'll definitely like one of my upcoming works. I'm going to enjoy messing around with that one. :DDDDDDD

True. Which makes me argue that Rose's presence was proof to the hair that the Moment was meddling. And yes, the Hair leaves us with plenty to joke about. :DDDDDD
cassikat
Aug. 14th, 2015 12:11 am (UTC)
Well, this is true. A pet needs a lot of attention and love, or they get depressed. And start acting out, which leads to people abusing or abandoning them when all they have to do is spend time with the pet(s)...sorry, that's a sore spot for me. But it's just the image of Rose confronting the Doctor playing/petting/whatever one DOES with a pet badger that gets me going :DDDD Oooh, really? Let me know if/when! =D

Small doses at first. Allergies can be desensitized, I believe. With that determination you mentioned, of course :)

Oooooh, you're as bad a tease as TM! You both should sit on the naughty step! *L* =DDD

Doesn't even have to be the Moment, although I have to wonder what the *bleepitybleep* they were thinking when they did that *shakes head, confused* Occam's Razor can be used to say the Hair didn't like Rose, even if the Doctor did, for whatever reasons he had. And the Hair is probably preening *snicker*
tkel_paris
Aug. 14th, 2015 04:43 am (UTC)
Probably more of a when. But no idea when.

Yes. Exactly. And I need to get the money first.

The story is mostly written now, but I have to finish the final scene and get it beta'd. :D

TM thinks it explains why he took Rose with him in the first place. But yes, I wasn't pleased that she made an appearance and no one else did.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )

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