Highlight of the Week

by Grace157 [Reviews - 3]

  • All Ages
  • None
  • Fluff, Humor, Missing Scene

Author's Notes:
Because how can Five's hair be explained in terms of canon otherwise? Plus I'd love to see him popping in to my hairdresser's with bits of tin foil in his hair.

The first thing that hit you was the pink.

The Doctor glanced furtively over his shoulder as he closed the glass door behind him, instantly muffling the gush of midday traffic. Why anyone would choose such an eye-watering shade of magenta wallpaper was a complete mystery, but he had never been one to judge by appearances.

The receptionist raised an eyebrow at him as he approached, and though her eyes flickered doubtfully over the celery on his lapel she didn't comment on it. 'The usual?' she asked, looking down at the computer screen before her. 'I'll let you know when she's free.'

'Thank you.' The Doctor sat down on one of the low, squashy sofas by the door, resisting the urge to peer nervously out of the window. It was the middle of the night by TARDIS standards, and even if Tegan or Turlough managed to find him here it wasn't as if going to a hairdresser's was a crime; even Time Lords had to go sometimes. There was no point in looking at any of the magazines strewn over the plastic coffee table: he'd read them all a week ago. Well, yesterday technically. Time travel could be confusing sometimes.

He looked up at the sound of clicking high heels to see a young woman walking swiftly towards him. She was tall and thin, with her wavy hair bleached blonde as was the fashion these days. 'Hello again!' she smiled. 'I'm guessing you're here for the same as usual?' In places like these the cheeriness was nearly always forced and fake, but Brittany always seemed genuinely happy to see him.

The Doctor couldn't help smiling back as he stood up and followed her to a small closet where he hung up his coat and jumper. He pretended not to notice the receptionist's incredulous stare as he passed her again on the way to his seat at the back of the room.

'I don't know how you manage it,' said Brittany as he sat down in front of the mirror, examining the back of his head. 'It looked fine yesterday. How does it lose colour so fast?' Her brown eyes twinkled as she smiled at him in the mirror. 'I'm starting to think you're doing it deliberately.'

'I assure you I'm not,' the Doctor told her, but allowed her to experimentally probe the edges of his hairline anyway. As a general rule if he took the TARDIS anywhere he'd leave at least a week between visits- relatively speaking, of course- but Brittany was only here for two weeks of work during the summer holidays and it was his fond opinion that she was the best at what she did. Ever. Luckily she wasn't the sort to pry, and the staff were all too polite to ask why he'd visited them every day for the last week and a half.

Brittany shrugged. 'If you say so.' She motioned for him to stand up. 'If you go and sit at one of the sinks I'll get someone to come over to you.'

The washing was the best part. Admittedly it was a little undignified to be bent over backwards with your head in a sink, but the Doctor always forgot that as soon as they turned the shower head on. Whilst the hundreds of miniature jets caressed his scalp like warm fingers, he could let his mind wander absently over the tiled ceiling above. The last time he was here it had been just after Nyssa had left and he'd brooded on the difficult life she would now be leading, far from the company of friends. Somehow being in such an ordinary, human place had distanced him from his unhappiness and helped him come to terms with it.

'Is the temperature alright for you?' asked the person behind him.

The Doctor nodded sleepily, closing his eyes as the water found a sensitive spot behind his ear. The hairdresser's had become a place he could go to recuperate when the crowded atmosphere of the TARDIS became too much. It was silly to keep his weekly visits a guilty secret, but then the thrill of secrecy made it so much more exciting. After everything that had happened this week he felt more drained than usual, and when the woman was satisfied that his hair was truly soaked and began massaging shampoo into it he almost fell asleep in the chair.

But all too soon he was rinsed off again and led back to his chair with a towel around his shoulders. Brittany winked and held up a finger as she hurried past with a box of equipment, blonde hair bouncing erratically. The Doctor wondered vaguely why people often seemed to stare or smile at him here. Not that he was complaining; it made a nice change from the hostile glares of accusation he received from most of the people he met. It wasn't as if this was a women's-only hairdresser's, though he supposed there were mostly females here. But ask for anything other than a cut-and-dry at a barber's and you got a strange look. After all the bother he'd had in his third regeneration he'd let the brown curls of his fourth do pretty much whatever they liked, but this incarnation was a bit tidier than the others. The Doctor looked younger than he had in a while, and if he expected to be taken seriously then he at least had to have a decent hairstyle.

Whilst he waited for Brittany to return, the Doctor studied his reflection. The burns around his cheekbones still hadn't quite healed yet. He looked drawn and pale and there were marks under his eyes; clearly some more sleep was in order. But then again, in light of the massacre that had occurred on Sea Base 4 it was easy to forget to do such trivial things as sleep.

'Sorry about the wait.' Brittany breezed in and deposited a roll of foil on the empty chair beside him. 'Can't seem to find anything today.' She produced a hairdryer and plugged it in.

Once again, the Doctor found it difficult to keep his eyes open as he was blasted with warm air. The week of their non-stop adventuring was really catching up with him. He'd been sharing his TARDIS with other people for so long he'd almost forgotten what it was like to be alone for a while. Then the hairdryer was turned off and he found he was able to sit a little straighter again.

'You always seem tired when you come here,' Brittany commented, fluffing his hair to check it was thoroughly dry.

The Doctor rubbed his eyes. 'Sorry, I'm still a little jetlagged. Travelling, you know.'
She nodded understandingly. He'd told her about some of his adventures, albeit minus details of alien invasions and visits to distant planets. And his companions. 'You get to go to so many places,' she said wistfully as she pulled over another chair and sat down beside him. 'Best I've ever done is Paris.' Her nimble fingers worked loose a strand of hair.

'Oh, there's far more out there than Paris,' the Doctor told her with a brief smile. This was the part he wasn't so keen on, when she wrapped up little bits of his hair in tin foil and put him under a heater. 'There's a whole universe out there to be discovered.'

She chuckled gently, flicking a strand of fringe out of her eyes. 'Has anyone ever told you that you're a bit... unusual?'

'Oh, all the time.' He shrugged. 'I'm used to it.' In the mirror, he saw that she was wearing a thoughtful expression. She was still trying to separate the same bit of hair.

'I'm finishing my degree at uni soon,' she told him, leaning in slightly. The foil crinkled loudly in his ear. 'Soon as I've got enough money I'm going to go travelling for a year. It's going to be great.'

The Doctor smiled. He knew only a little about her, but travelling was an interest they both shared. 'I wish you the best of luck,' he said, turning his head so he could look at her and a little surprised at how close her face was to his. Brittany blinked and drew back a bit, and he saw that she was blushing slightly.

They didn't talk much for the next few minutes. Brittany's face was set with concentration as she perched on the edge of her chair. He wasn't entirely sure what had led him to the conclusion that he needed highlights- hadn't it been her suggestion in the first place?

Once she'd finished with the tin foil he was left under an overhead heater for a while. The heat caused areas of his scalp to burn but he'd endured much worse as an occupational hazard of time-travelling to be bothered by it. On the table in front of him was the usual selection of glossy magazines, and after a half-hearted poke at something called Look at me! he searched his pockets and found a much more palatable War and Peace: The Compact Edition. The number of times you found yourself trapped in a cell somewhere or waiting for a nuclear apocalypse often left you in serious need for some short-notice reading material.

Brittany came to find him a short while later. 'I take it you'll be booking in for the same time tomorrow?' she asked with a smile. 'I don't think we need to ask you anymore, honestly we've all given up trying to figure you out.'

The Doctor kept still as she carefully removed the bits of foil, the hair underneath now a reassuring shade of blond. 'I haven't found another place like it yet,' he told her wholeheartedly, and she beamed at him. It was surprising how many places just didn't know how to do it right: there was a reason why his second incarnation had been laden with a basin cut for most of his days.

A flicker of movement in the mirror caught his eye, and he thought he saw Brittany take something from her pocket. 'I've certainly got used to having you around.' She wheeled the heater away and he stood up, putting the book away in his pocket. 'You might be needing this.' She pressed something into his hand, glancing over her shoulder as she did so.

The Doctor studied the piece of paper she'd given him. It had been torn out of one of the official notebooks; he could see the branch's logo printed in the corner. A series of digits and dashes had been scribbled in curly handwriting with a purple gel pen. 'Erm, what is it?'

'My phone number,' she said evenly. 'Just in case you ever wanted to show me- you know- the universe.' She winked, her glossy pink lips pressing together in a smile.

For a moment the Doctor was totally nonplussed, but then he felt a burning sensation in his cheeks and he realised that he was blushing. 'Er, I think you might have got the wrong- that is, it's very kind of you, but-' he babbled, but Brittany wasn't listening.

'See you tomorrow,' she said simply as she walked away, still grinning, and he was left at the desk in utter confusion as he struggled to remember what currency Earth was using nowadays.

After several minutes of embarrassed sorting through a wallet containing Zarg notes, credit stamps and Copeira pieces, the Doctor hurried from the scene of the crime. The bell jingled as he pushed it open, already thinking of getting back to the TARDIS, only to walk straight into the person standing outside. 'Oops! I'm so sorry-' The Doctor straightened up and his mouth dropped open as he recognised the smirking face before him. 'Turlough! What are you doing here? It's the middle of the night! Well, technically...'

'I could ask you the same thing,' Turlough retorted, 'and I told you, I don't need as much sleep humans do.' He took an exaggerated step back in order to study the top of his head. 'Is it just me, or do you look a little... blonder than you did last night?'

The Doctor strode off down the street, hands in pockets. 'How long were you standing there?' he asked accusingly.

'Oh, a while.' Turlough shrugged, falling into step beside him. 'I thought you said you were a natural blond?'

'Not in so many words.' The Doctor kept his eyes fixed determinedly on the pavement beneath their feet.

'Well, that's what you told Tegan.' He chuckled. 'Speaking of which, I think the girl in there has her eye on you.'

The Doctor opened his mouth to deny this, just as he happened to glance back and see Brittany giving him a girlish wave behind the glass. Turlough laughed as the Doctor's cheeks turned the same colour as the garishly-painted walls. The next time he regenerated, he was going to do his own hair.