First Date: Karaoke
"Why are we stopping in here?" Rose asked as the Doctor dragged her by the hand into a dirty pub.
It was the 22nd century, and pubs in London hadn't changed by much. He told her that one hundred years into the future was a bit dull, and he proved himself wrong when the TARDIS dropped them into the middle of an alien cult meeting. They barely escaped with their lives, as that's how it always went. The Doctor insisted on going out instead of returning home for some well-deserved rest, but he wouldn't say why.
Inside, he pulled her towards a high-top table. "We are here to have some fun!" he exclaimed as he grabbed her by the waist and sat her down on the tall chair. "And you aren't going to argue."
"How are we going to pay? I know that you don't think of things like that, but—"
"Ah, you'd be wrong!" he smiled. From his coat pocket, he produced a large wad of modern money. "Sonic screwdriver. Works great on automatic tellers."
She smirked, leaning into his side. "You stole that."
"No, stole is such an ugly word. I just…um…took it out on loan and don't intend to pay it back. Now, stop spoiling the fun we're supposed to be having, all right? You're just a big fun-sucking funsucker of all that's fun and holy! Yes. A funsucker."
Rose held up her hands in surrender. "Okay, okay. Sorry for sucking," she initially stopped, resuming speech when a few blokes nearby gave her a creepy smile. "The fun. Sucking the fun."
He held up his arm to the tender. "Two banana daiquiris over here! Next round is your choice, Rose. But, you have to start with something banana. Do you know why?"
"Let's think…" she hummed, balancing on her elbows and running her tongue across her smile. "Bananas are good, and you should always have one at a party."
"Brilliant! If that's the one thing you learn from our travels, I will be more than content!"
The drinks arrived and the Doctor grabbed his, proposing a toast. "Here's to you."
"To me?" she chuckled. "What did I do to deserve a toast?"
"Stop sucking the fun with your questions and just relax. This one's for you, Rose Tyler."
She blushed as they toasted. Shortly after, he left to use the lavatories. He never did that, but she wasn't asking anymore questions. If the men over at the bar heard the word sucking one more time, they'd certainly pop over for a friendly visit. Even so, Rose was very suspicious of the entire evening. The Doctor never wanted to go out like this. He insisted that the TARDIS made the best drinks in the universe, so there was no need to go out and pay for one.
When he came back, he was bubbling with excitement. He went on and on about the intriguing world of the modern loo, speaking quickly in large words. The look on his face was too sweet. Rose got lost in his quirky grin, letting go of all apprehensions about their evening together. That is, until the real reason for the pub emerged.
"Welcome to karaoke night!" the emcee announced over the microphone. "Go on over and sign up. We have the best music from the twentieth, twenty first, and twenty second centuries! Pick your poison and sing your heart out! Free drink if you do!"
The Doctor sipped his daiquiri and raised both of his eyebrows. "Well, how about that? Karaoke!"
Rose stared at him and he winked. She put a hand on her forehead. "You didn't."
"Didn't what?" he asked innocently.
"When you said that you went to the loo…" she began. But, she was interrupted.
"First up is John Smith!"
The Doctor beamed and took a last gulp, wandering up to the microphone. He tapped it to make sure it was working and then cleared his throat. "Hello. I'm going to be singing a song by a man you all remember. White suits. Scarves. King of rock 'n roll. No? Anybody? Well, the answer I was looking for is Elvis Presley. Better luck next time. Allons-y!"
Music started to play and Rose began laughing hard enough to bring tears to her eyes. The Doctor was up there, dancing like Elvis and holding a microphone close to his mouth.
"You can shake an apple off an apple tree. Shake-a, shake- sugar, but you'll never shake me. Uh-uh-uh. No-sir-ee, uh, uh," the Doctor couldn't sing very well, but no one could fault his enthusiasm. "I'm gonna stick like glue, stick because I'm…" he paused with the music, hitting the beats with his entire body. "Stuck on you!" he winked at Rose and kept moving around the stage like a madman. Near the end of the song, he motioned to her to get closer. She shook her head no and he kept motioning. He had to cover the microphone and shout, "Rose, get yourself up here!"
A man next to the table grabbed her and helped her down, shoving her towards the platform. She reluctantly went up there, joining the Doctor in the spotlight near the foot of the stage. He gave her his tie, draping it about her neck. He finished the song while looking directly at her. "Stuck on you!"
There were cheers and he hopped down next to Rose, grinning in an adorable and smug sort of way. She started giggling and he tied the tie around her neck like a scarf. He leaned down and whispered into her ear, "I'd escort you back to our table, but there's a bit of problem."
The emcee took the stage. "Next is Rose Tyler!"
She glared at him. "I could so kill you sometimes."
"Yeah, I know. Too bad. The show must go on!" he quickly tossed her over his shoulder and dropped her in front of the microphone. He cupped his mouth his hands, shouting over the cheers. "You're singing Ian Dury! The one you're always humming when you're in the shower!"
A man next to the Doctor gave him an elbow nudge. That didn't come out right, he thought. Rose looked terrified in the bright lights, but as soon as the song started she relaxed. In fact, she relaxed too much. She started dancing, but not the same kind of dance that the Doctor had done. No, this dance involved the hips and looked a lot like some dreadful music videos he'd seen while visiting 1995. Even so, Rose could pull it off. He swallowed the knot in his throat and ignored the loud pounding of both hearts.
"Partial to your abracadabra. Enraptured by the joy of it all, so stop me where you start. The cockles of his heart. The panties sends it right up the wall."
She could sing. Rose had the most incredible voice. Sure, he had heard it once or twice before, but it was the kind of singing a person does while cooking stew or explaining a melody to someone who has never heard it. This was different. This was her, belting out her entire soul, and all while dancing like a pop star. He was completely taken, and she appeared to be having a good time. His hearts were in time with her music. It was all he could to do to stay back and not leap onto the stage, pulling her into a dance and maybe even a kiss.
"Partial to your abracadabra," she finished. The room exploded with cheers, mostly from the men, and the Doctor held up his hand. She took it and helped her down from the stage. "That was…incredible."
He placed his lips near her ear. "Still want to kill me?"
She shook her head no. "Once you get past the lights and fifty or so people who can hear you, it's not so bad. I think I'll sing another."
"What?" he stammered.
"I noticed the song book over there. Think I'll look through it. Better add my name to the list before it gets too full," she gave him a smile and disappeared.
Before he knew it, Rose was on her third song. Her dancing had drawn in every bloke in the joint, and they all surrounded the stage for a closer view. The Doctor sat at their table, alone, with a drink. He never got jealous. No, jealousy was overrated and completely pointless. Besides, what could a clever Time Lord like himself be jealous about? He was the most important, and brilliant, man in the entire universe. Still, he didn't much care for the way those men were fawning all over her.
"Being protective is all," he sniffed to himself. "In case anyone gets the wrong idea about her."
She took off her jacket, as the lights were uncomfortably warm, and threw it into the crowd. Her arm was pretty decent, so it landed in the hands of a man not too far from the Doctor's table. The man cheered as if it were the bride's bouquet, so the Doctor got up and went over to him. He held out his hand. The man clung tighter.
"That's hers and she'll want it back," the Doctor shouted through the loud music. "And if you don't give it to me, I'll have to take it. And we wouldn't want that, would we?"
Reluctantly, the man handed it over. "The pretty ones always have a nasty boyfriend. Here. Take it, you thick tosser."
"No, I'm not her…" the Doctor began, but the man had already stormed off. He smiled to himself at the thought and pushed his way to the front of the stage. She spotted him and waved, grinning widely. "Wrap it up!" he shouted. She couldn't hear him.
Actually, she thought that he motioned to join her on the stage. She thought that it could be fun, plus he loved the Housemartians. Her hand reached out and grabbed his, and suddenly he felt her tugging at him to come up. A few nearby lads pushed him onwards and she had put the microphone in its stand, pointing at it to sing with her. He sighed, defeated, and began to sing.
"Every woman every man. Join the caravan of love. Stand up, stand up! Everybody take a stand.
Join the caravan of love…"
By the end of the song, they were both smiling and getting funky with it. He laughed when the crowd cheered, and he couldn't resist pulling Rose into his arms. They leapt off the stage together, met by pats on the back and handshakes.
"We're celebrities!" the Doctor chuckled, leading Rose back to their table by the arm.
"Free drinks on me!" the bartender shouted at them.
They exchanged smiles and had a round. Rose's choice, of course. The Doctor gave her coat back and she stared at him strangely. "I threw that at some strange man in the back. Didn't think I'd see it again."
"Well, I got it back."
A few fans of Rose appeared at the table, hitting on her right in front of the Doctor. "We're going on a bender. You want to come? Maybe do some more of that dancing for us later?"
"Thanks for the offer mate, but I don't think so…" Rose responded politely.
"C'mon, love. You know you want to," another man winked.
The Doctor found himself getting protective again. No, not jealous. Protective. Yeah. That's the word. She was his best mate and no man, woman, child, alien, monster, or robot was going to harm her in any way. Not on his watch. These men were a threat, he had decided. Might try to take her away or take advantage. So, he did what any protective friend would do.
"Sorry. She's with me."
Rose was as surprised as they were. His arm was across the back of her chair and he was gazing at her intently. She could only nod and say, "That's right."
The men sulked off, and the Doctor felt triumphant for protecting his Rose. "Another round then? Still your choice."
That was the last round they had before walking towards the TARDIS. She hadn't put her jacket back on yet, and she could feel shivers crawling up her spine in the cold wind. Instead of telling her to put on her jacket, he took off his coat and wrapped it around her and hugged her to his side. She grinned and whispered, "Thank you."
"Don't mention it."
When they got inside, she gave him his coat and silently went towards her room. She stopped when she saw that she still had the tie around her neck. "Oh, I have your tie—"
"Keep it. Or, give it back whenever you feel like it. I have plenty of ties."
A question popped into her mind as she played with the soft fabric in her fingers. "Why'd you sing that Elvis song?"
"Because you can't get any more classic than the King himself. That's a fact. His record sales, even now in this century—"
"No. Not that. The song. 'Stuck on you.' How'd you pick it?"
"It's a good song," he shrugged. He was getting nervous, so he changed the subject. "Where should we go next?"
"You gave me your tie," she added. "Not once, but twice. At the stage and right now."
"I was thinking that we could go to this nice planet a few galaxies over. They have great shellfish and I've been in the mood for some lately. They add this great seasoning—"
"And you knew what song to pick for me. You've been listening to me, even in the shower—"
"Lovely stuff. Just lights up the taste buds like a power plant sparks an entire city. So many hints of this and that. Savory, sweet, smoky, spicy, sour…"
"You got on stage with me near the end. And, you told those men you were with me," she added, continuing to fidget with his tie. "Not only that, you got my jacket back and gave me your coat. Doctor?"
He stopped moving around the console for a moment. "Rose?"
"You do understand what this was, don't you?"
"It was karaoke. Always a good time."
She frowned and glared at him. "Men. Even if they're Time Lords they're not very clever."
"Wait a minute! I am very clever, thank you."
"Not clever enough to be honest with me. Tonight wasn't just fun. It was a date. A proper one."
"What? No," he chuckled, scratching the back of his head. "Karaoke. Singing. Daiquiris. Lots and lots of fun. By the way, you have a great voice. And I speak for all the men, even if we aren't clever, when I say really, really, really great dancing. You were beautiful up there. Still are."
She blushed, but smirked at the ploy. "Don't think you can distract me with a compliment."
"I wasn't distracting. I didn't mention before how fantastic you were and thought now to be the right time. That's all."
He swallowed anxiously and she stared at him. "We went on a real date."
"No, it wasn't—"
"It so was. You fancy me."
She slowly started to dance towards him, saying in a singsong voice. "You took me on a date."
He backed into a piece of TARDIS coral, blathering. "I thought you'd have a good time, well we'd have a good time, so I wanted us to go and have a good time together. It's a simple as that. Really it is. I didn't mean to imply anything more than…"
Rose had taken off his tie and put it around his neck. She tied it for him, pulling him down to her level. He could feel her breath. "I'm stuck on you," she murmured, going in for a kiss. He shut his eyes in anticipation. Suddenly, she let him go and he stumbled backwards. Her laughter rang throughout the TARDIS. "You were going to kiss me back! You had your eyes shut and everything. Let me know when you want to go on our second date. Maybe some more karaoke?"
With that, she vanished and he remained unmoving as his pulse raged. He could hear her singing in the hallway, and he couldn't help thinking she had the voice of an angel. While remembering her performance, he got weak in the knees. He loved seeing her that happy. That was his goal for the evening: make Rose happy. It's all he ever wanted to do.
Blimey. It was a proper date. And, as far as first dates go, it had to be the most perfect one in the universe. All of the universes combined.
A/N: Songs belong to Elvis, Ian Dury, and the Housemartians just like the characters belong to BBC. Inspired by the lovely and talented Billie Piper.