A/N: I'm sorry, guys- while the summary is supposed to get you a bit on-edge, there is an original character here, but you are meant to LIKE her. I know it might be a lot to ask, but I tried to make her as human as possible. And this is, by no means, a self-insertation fic. Ew, no, don't worry.
Disclaimer: Doctor Who doesn't belong to me. However, the OC and her two bitchy little friends do. Please read on...
The Doctor stood and just looked, wishing his eyes were not watering. He looked some more, crossing and uncrossing his arms, kneading his lips.
He glanced over at another case with silver jewellery, then back to the case in front of him. For the first time in his life, he felt completely out of place- utterly and without a doubt. He could be on planet-hop and bend the rules of time and space, converse with aliens and save galaxies, ten at a time, but he felt completely alone and helpless standing in front of the sterling-silver necklaces.
He was in New York City. He was in Tiffany's. And he was having a horrible time.
The Doctor rubbed his eyes and looked at the bracelet again, then at the price. He could probably go to a craft store, spend a tenth of the price of the bracelet and make the thing from scratch, but he couldn't do that to Rose. It was her birthday, and he was going to buy something from Tiffany's if it killed him.
Which was exactly what it was doing.
I'm going to waste a life on this, aren't I? he thought desperately. Hang around a bit longer, and eventually you'll be so over your head at least one of the hearts will stop. What'll you do then?
He shook his head and moved to the next case over, not even looking up to make eye contact with the sales clerk, who was glaring at him. There was a sign on the case that said "Gifts for Her", which the Doctor appreciated. Not that he saw that many men walking around with diamond necklaces and rings on in the first place…well, not on Earth, anyway.
He saw the clerk move closer to him out of the corner of his eye. "Can I help you?"
"No," he answered quickly, shaking his head. "You really can't."
"Is there something specific you'd like to see?"
"No," he answered sadly, really regretting the fact that he was so obviously a novice to jewellery-buying. "There's really not."
"Do you have a price range?"
The Doctor grimaced. "No, I really don't. I mean…I don't know."
"Well, just tell me if you'd like some help," the clerk responded, looking slightly sour.
He gave a tight-lipped smile and watched the clerk move over to the corner, then desperately tried focusing on the jewellery. What would Rose like? What would Rose wear?
He ruled out dangly necklaces because Rose would never wear it daily; he had warned her of the dangers of wearing things on her neck. On the other hand, the chokers looked too elegant to wear at all.
What am I doing? I mean, what the hell am I doing?
He looked at another silver bracelet, but saw that the clasp was quite big- enough for someone to pull on, if they wanted to, and displace Rose's wrist.
Jewellery is dangerous.
The Doctor also knew better than to get her anything with diamonds on it- diamonds caught the light, and there were plenty of species that could see a diamond sparkle from a mile away. And, as he and Rose both knew full well, that was generally a bad thing. So whatever he got her, it would definitely be silver.
I'm not cut out for this. I want to go home.
He sighed again, ran a hand over his head, and moved to the next case over. As he shifted he heard the door open and a giggle- two girls, aged around twelve or thirteen, entered the store with a third girl, taller and older-looking, trailing along behind them. The two girls looked up in awe, admiring the pieces of jewellery that was displayed in cases on the wall. One of them let out a tiny squeal and ran over to one of the cases on the floor. The other followed. The third girl exhaled with a note of finality, took off her hat and scratched her head.
The Doctor looked at her. She looked back. She smiled a tight smile, a weary smile, and shoved her hat in her bag. The Doctor went back to looking for jewellery. The two younger girls had already surpassed the first few cases and were now oooh-ing over the engagement rings.
Rose, Rose, Rose, Rose…Rose, he thought. What to get Rose. Not a watch. No, those watches are huge. And ugly.
"Look at those watches!" the blonde one of the girls cried. The Doctor noticed that the blonde wore a sterling-silver bracelet identical to a bracelet he had first looked at- it was priced at one hundred and eighty-five dollars.
How about a bracelet? Yeah, a bracelet. Under…200 dollars, let's say?
It was hard to focus with the girls whispering to each other.
With a small clasp. Yep, not seeing any with small clasps…
Ten minutes passed by as the Doctor searched for a piece of jewellery that was fit for a time-traveller, but to no avail. Everything was either too shiny, too dangly, the clasp was too big or the Doctor didn't like it. He sniffed and craned his neck all the way back, emitting a noise of desperation and woe.
A silence as the Doctor put his head in his hands and rubbed his eyes. Then…
"Are…are you all right?"
The Doctor looked towards the speaker; it was the third girl. She stood a few feet to his right, her brow furrowed a bit.
"I'm fine, thanks," he replied quickly. "Did I sound not all right? Because I am all right."
"No. I mean, you sounded sick. Or like you were crying."
The Doctor furrowed his eyebrows to match the girls'. "Can you…d'you think you can help me?"
The girl looked uncertain. "I'm sort of… baby-sitting," she told him, and motioned to the two younger girls. "We're here with a group and they couldn't go anywhere without a chaperone."
"No, I mean, can you help me choose something?"
"Oh! Oh, sure," the girl said, obviously relieved. "But just so you know, I'm not very good, I mean, I don't even wear jewellery."
The Doctor could have hugged her. "No, that's fine, really. That's fine."
"Can I ask you a question first?"
The Doctor smiled. "Choose something, then I'll answer anything you want to know."
The girl frowned at the Doctor, looking him right in the eyes. He was far from threatening… he seemed more desperate for help than anything.
"Look, I'm probably already in trouble for talking to a stranger or something, so you'd better not pull anything funny," she said, and looked over her shoulder at the girls she had entered with.
"You don't think they'll tell, do you?" she asked.
"Not if they get distracted easily," the Doctor replied honestly. "Which, it appears, they do."
The girl stifled a, then stuck out her hand tentatively. "I'm Emily," she said. "Please don't abduct me."
"I'm the Doctor," the Doctor told her. "And I need help."
"Admitting you've got a problem is the first step to recovery," Emily said. He smiled, and Emily jumped right in.
"Okay, now, who are we looking for…?"