Jo Grant had traveled with the Doctor long enough by now to expect anything from him. Well, almost anything. She could quite honestly say she never saw this coming.
That was, if 'this' was what she thought it was. And there was no way she was going to ask him if it was. Because if it wasn't… So she had decided just to wait to see how the evening played out.
And what a beautiful evening it was. The local planet's lighting system was much more ecstatically pleasing then that of Earth's street lamps and the air was clean and sweet-smelling. The Doctor stood off to the side as he watched her admire the alien world.
Jo twirled slowly in place, getting a good look all around before returning to his side. "Do you like it?" he said in his somehow fancy and yet gruff manner.
Jo imagined she heard a bit of insecurity in his proud voice, so she let a huge smile grow on her face as she turned to face him. "Oh Doctor, it's marvelous!" She impulsively grabbed his hand and gently tugged him down the street they were on toward what she was fairly sure was the bustling downtown. She didn't take notice when the Doctor firmly entwined his fingers with her own.
Soon the Doctor switched the situation so that he was leading her as they made their way through the alien crowd. It was a planet with two native species, one mammalian with six legs and two hands, the other crystalline that used its own mind to move itself and objects. In addition, Jo and the Doctor were not the only aliens moving about the streets, there were quite a few other visitors, as well as immigrants. All where quite friendly and most went out of their way to be kind to others. Jo found it a pleasant change, even to her own Earth.
The Doctor even let her pull him off course to admire a trinket or outfit or alien. He answered every question she asked and told her about the different cultures, histories, and futures of the races around her. Just as Jo was beginning to wonder if there was any specific place the Doctor was taking her, he gave a little triumphant "Ah!" and led her off the street to a little restaurant. Though small, it seemed quiet popular and there was quite a line waiting to get in.
"Doctor are we really going to have to wait that long," she stood on her toes trying to see where the line ended.
"It's worth it," the Doctor said all knowingly, but turned to her with a sly grin that softened his imposing features. "Lucky for us, I made reservations."
Jo's smile came right back, but fell again just as fast as she thought of something. "Doctor… are you sure you came to the time when you actually made the reservations?"
The Doctor looked down at her, insult over her accusation clear on his face, "Of course I did Jo." He then picked up on the fact that she was worried she has hurt his feelings dreadfully, so he gave her hand that he had not released a gently squeeze before lowering his mouth to her ear. "It took me five tries and three wrong landings though," his whispered gently too her. He didn't notice her shiver with suppressed feelings as his lips accidentally brushed her ear.
The Doctor lead her to the front on the line and the crystal waitress twinkled at him and lead the way to an empty table in front of a window looking out at the street. Jo saw that it was the best location in the place, and felt flattered knowing that the Doctor must have had to pull quite a few strings to get it for them. She suddenly felt the loss of his hand that had separated from her own as they took their separate seats.
Her sudden despair must have shown on her face, but the Doctor mistook that it was over something else. "You don't like?" he asked worriedly. She had seemed to be having such a marvelous time. What had he done wrong?
"Jo?" he asked gently, when she didn't answer him the first time. Her name seemed to snap her out of her own thoughts and she looked over at him with wide eyes.
She blinked twice and then said, "Sorry Doctor, I was just thinking." She smiled at him and he found it contagious. "I really do like it here, it's lovely. Thank you."
"It's nothing," he told her as his chest puffed out a bit, telling her that it was clearly not. And that the Doctor liked to be praised. But she already knew the latter.
The waitress came back and asked (telepathically) if they where ready to order. As they hadn't really gotten around to opening their menus and Jo knew that they shouldn't take up their table for any more time then they had to, she said, "How about two of your specials?" She hoped that this planet had specials. And that those specials where edible for human and Time Lord consumption.
The Doctor nodded his consent and the waitress glided off. When Jo voiced her second worry about the special, he assured her that it was fine. "On planets with many different races they have several specials, each edible for a certain portion of the population. She will know which one to give us."
Jo nodded and turned to watch the scenes playing out in the street. She smiled and chuckled at the antics of the other beings. The Doctor watched her, running his eyes over her features as though to memorize them. Jo moved one of her hands to rest on the table. The Doctor without thought placed his own much larger one over it, reclaiming it.
This brought Jo's attention back to the man across from her. His attention was focused solely on her. And it wasn't in the way some men stared at her in the past, as though they were daydreaming of doing things with her, too her… But a woman in a men's world had to learn to ignore such things, or else she'd go insane.
But he looked at her as if she was a person. A person with feelings and cares and ambitions that he wanted to understand. Though he sometimes acted as though he was the most important being in the universe (and she suspected that this just might be true), his actions spoke that in his heart he didn't actually believe this. She saw something in his timeless eyes, gazing into hers from across the table, that made her heart skip a beat. And she finally got the courage to ask the Doctor the question that had been working in her mind since he explained their destination to her.
"Doctor… are we on a date?"