A FRIENDLY CHESS GAME
"Oh, come on, Doctor. I really don't wanna do this."
The Doctor and Rose were sitting across from each other. They had gone to Chicago for a bit of sightseeing and when they came to a large park, they noticed some chess games was going on. Ten card tables had been set up inside the park and nine of them were occupied. The Doctor led Rose over to the empty table. He sat down and eagerly grabbed the plastic bag holding the chess pieces that was lying beside the board.
"You don't play chess?" the Doctor said.
"No, I think it's rubbish," Rose said as she stood beside the empty seat.
"Rubbish? It's a game of skill and intelligence. Come on, play with me."
Rose made a face but she knew the Doctor was eager for a game and there was no one else around. She glanced over and noticed a small trailer had been set up to sell refreshments. She had a bit of American money that the TARDIS had changed for her and she was feeling a bit peckish.
"I'll play…on two conditions," she said to the Doctor.
"You let me win a game so I don't feel like a total idiot at chess and you let me buy us some snacks so we can eat while we play."
The Doctor looked at the trailer and his eyes gleamed with delight.
"Done and done," he said.
"Wait here, I'll be right back," she said.
By the time she got there, a few other players had gotten the same idea and there was a short queue. She joined the queue and waited. While she did that, the Doctor opened the plastic bag and began to set up the chess pieces on the board.
"Can I join you for a quick game?"
The Doctor heard a woman's voice and looked up. There was a young woman standing by Rose's chair. She was slender with long brown hair and a charming smile. The Doctor smiled warmly at her.
"English?" he said to her.
"Yup. Just visiting. Are you alone?" she said.
"No, I'm with a friend," he said, pointing to Rose.
The woman looked at her and nodded.
"So, you're waiting on her then," she said. "I was hoping for a game and I'm by myself and I saw you sitting here and thought you would be interested."
"Well…I think we have time for a quick game," the Doctor said, glancing at Rose and noticing there were still four people in front of her.
"Brilliant. Name's Clara," she said, extending her hand.
"John Smith," the Doctor said, shaking it. "Please," he said, gesturing to the empty seat.
Clara sat down and studied the pieces. She had the white pieces and she waited for the Doctor to make the first move.
"So…are you traveling as well?" Clara asked the Doctor while she watched him move a pawn two spaces forward.
"I am. My friend and I are traveling," he said.
"I think it's brilliant," Clara said as she moved a pawn. "So many things to do, so much to see."
The Doctor nodded. He gazed at Clara while he made another move and was suddenly struck by the realization that she looked very familiar. But he couldn't place where he'd seen her before.
The Doctor jerked his head around and noticed Rose was standing by the table, her hands filled with drinks and snacks while she looked at Clara with a bit of hostility.
"Um…Rose, this is Clara, she was looking for a partner and I invited her to play a round with me."
"Yeah, I bet she was looking for a partner," Rose said under her breath.
Still, she put a smile on her face and shook Clara's hand after setting the snacks down by the Doctor. The Doctor smiled and picked up a small cup of Sprite and sipped it while he moved his bishop five spaces towards Clara's knight. Rose stood by the table and watched the game. As far as she could tell, Clara was only interested in the game and not the Doctor and that calmed her down. She wasn't that great at chess but she could tell that Clara was losing from the number of pieces on the board. The white pieces were dwindling and now the Doctor's rook just took one of her pawns.
"Disappointing," the Doctor teased Clara. "I was hoping for a worthy opponent. "
"You haven't won yet, Brow Boy," Clara teased back.
"Yeah, you have nice eyebrows. Unlike someone else I know," she said enigmatically.
The Doctor and Rose shared a look. Rose shrugged and grinned.
"Right, back to kicking your bum," the Doctor said as he moved his rook.
Eventually some people left the other tables and Rose took one of the empty chairs and sat it beside the table, eating and watching as the Doctor and Clara played another round of chess. Clara lost the first game but was good-natured about it and the Doctor invited her to try again. Despite her initial reaction, Rose liked Clara. She seemed like a nice girl and she was keeping the Doctor happy by playing chess, something she didn't want to do in the first place. She lost the next game as well and the Doctor invited her to play again but Clara declined.
"Nah, I've taken up enough of your time," she said, getting up. "Rose wants her chair back and I need to go."
"Well…it was nice meeting you," the Doctor said after glancing at Rose. "Perhaps we'll meet in future?"
"Oh…that might be a possibility," Clara said.
The Doctor was intrigued by her response since she was giving him an enigmatic grin but before he could ask any questions, Clara bid them farewell and turned and left. Rose sat down in the seat she vacated and the two of them watched her walk away.
"She seemed like a nice woman," Rose said, turning back around after thirty seconds.
"Yes, she did," the Doctor said. "So…your turn now?"
Rose groaned and the Doctor chuckled and flicked a bit of popcorn at her face as Rose grabbed the white pieces and put them back in their proper places on the board.
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