“I think I have earned the right to open my front doors any way I want.”
“Nobody talk to me; Nobody human has anything to say to me today!”
“I said you were the most beautiful thing I had ever known.”
“He’s the one who broke the promise.”
“Because every time you see them happy, you remember how sad they’re going to be… and it breaks your heart. Because what’s the point in them being happy now if they’re going to be sad later? The answer is, of course, because they are going to be sad later.”
“Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then, and then, do the smart thing: Let somebody else try first.”
“Fezzes are cool.”
“Investigation? Who says I’m investigating? Do you think I’m going to start investigating just because some bird smiles at me?! Who do you think I am?!”
“No, I have a thing. It’s like a plan, but with more greatness.”
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice versa the bad things don’t always spoil the good things or make them unimportant. And we definitely added to his pile of good things.”
“Because it’s a surprisingly accurate description!”
“NEVER use force, you’ll just embarrass yourself. Unless you’re cross, in which case… always use force!”
“It is not a snog box!”
“Either you turn off your clever machine or I’ll blow you and you new paradigm into eternity.”
“Didn’t anyone ever tell you? There’s one thing you never put in a trap. If you’re smart, if you value your continued existence, if you have any plans about seeing tomorrow, there’s one thing you never, ever put in a trap.”
“Brave words, Dick van Dyke.”
“An ancient creature, drenched in the blood of the innocent… drifting in space through an endless shifting maze… for such a creature, death would be a gift.”
“I am and always will be the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
“Carrots?! Are you insane?!”
“Pantophobia. Not fear of pants, though, if that’s what you’re thinking. It’s the fear of everything. Including pants, I suppose, in that case.”
“Yes, I am dying. You’ve been trying to kill me for centuries, and here I am, dying of old age. If you want something done, do it yourself.”
“Stetsons are cool.”
“Oh, why do you always have handcuffs?”
“Still not ginger!”
“How does anything get there? I’ve given up asking.”
“I’ve never met anybody who wasn’t important before.”
“Bow ties are cool.”
“I’m being extremely clever up here and there’s no one to stand around looking impressed! What’s the point in having you all?”
“Can you hear them? All these people who’ve lived in terror of you and your judgement. All these people whose ancestors devoted themselves, sacrificed themselves, to you. Can you hear them singing?”
“Well, it’s a big club, we should get T-shirts.”
“Good men don’t need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many.”
“My journey is the same as yours, the same as anyone’s. It’s taken me so many years, so many lifetimes, but, at last, I know where I’m going, where I’ve always been going: Home, the long way ‘round.”
“Safe? No! Of course you’re not safe! There’s about a billion other things out there just waiting to burn your whole world, but if you want to pretend you’re safe just so you can sleep at night, then, OK, you’re safe. But you’re not really.”
An anon requested a part 2 of ‘The Past Is The Past’ that you can read HERE!
This is bittersweet, I know anon wanted something happy, but at least it gives Y/N some closure. And it just didn’t fit to give her a whole happy ending like a fairytale. Sorry.
Clara looked at the ceiling. It had been some months since she had met Y/N L/N and her daughter. It still bothered her. She wanted to know if they were doing okay. And she was also worried about the Doctor. He insisted he didn’t have feelings any more and that he didn’t care about what happened to them, but Clara knew better.
One night when she hadn’t been able to sleep she had gotten out of bed to find the Doctor. Maybe he would tell her a story about some adventure. But he was nowhere to be found. She had almost given up but then she had found a door with “Y/N’s Room’ on it. Very softly she had opened the door. One light was on and Clara had looked through the tidy but obviously lived in room. It looked like Y/N had just left one day. Unexpected. And there on the bed, curled in the blankets, slept the Doctor. Clara had backed out the room and leaned against the wall. ‘I’m no longer in love with her.’ Bullshit, she had muttered.
The more she found out about the Doctor, the more he was filled with bullshit it seemed. He lied a lot. And was obviously horrible with feelings. What didn’t help was that she was kind of falling for him. Which was hard, knowing that he had a daughter somewhere. And he had to get back to Y/N. And at the same time she wanted to snog him. Talk about complicated!
I think for this I’d have Sherlock working on a case where Rembrants have already been stolen, but when he and Molly (because naturally she’s his sidekick for this one) get to the warehouse where he tracks the paintings to, they start chatting while finding the stollen art and emotions finally bubble over…and suddenly they’re snogging among the boxes lol. When the bad guys startle them by showing up, Sherlock is all flustered and caught off guard and instead of being his usual suave and cool self, he very awkwardly gestures to the stolen art and says, “we’re just- just here to…to steal back the Rembrandts!” 😂
This got away from me. Inspired by the tumblr post talking about a world where tattoos randomly appear on people’s bodies. M Rated because of implied hanky-panky.
Clara got her first tattoo when her mother died.
She was expecting it. She had known, for what seemed like such a long and too terribly short time at once, that her mum didn’t have long. But she wasn’t prepared all the same for the pain. She was sobbing, holding her mother’s limp hand in her own. Her father had his face buried in the covers of the hospice bed as his own wailing grew louder, and this was agony enough.
Suddenly her back, near her shoulder blade, was burning white hot, like a branding iron had dug in there, marking the torture of that moment. She paid it no mind; she knew what it was. Her father was clutching his chest, where Clara knew a once green and thriving maple tree was shedding its leaves. It was bare now, they learned, many hours later. And across Clara’s back, caught in some invisible breeze, was a single leaf.
Her next tattoo, on the top of her foot, came soon after, when she decided to postpone getting a teaching job to help the Maitlands. It was an hourglass and the sands constantly moved, the top never emptying and the bottom never filling either. Clara understood what it meant. It was the same as her mother’s book, gathering dust, a reminder that her adventures, her dreams, were on hold. Someday time would run out.
And then the Doctor appeared in his Snog Box. The corresponding tattoo came when she was unconscious and he was fiddling around with the bits of junk in the garage. It wasn’t so much a new tattoo as a change. The sands of the hourglass had shifted. Now they were no longer white, but gold, and shone like stars. And the sands didn’t continue to flow down- they moved in loops and swirls amongst the glass, aimlessly, much like the Doctor’s own meanderings. She loved it.
After their first trip in the Tardis, she showed her tattoos to him. A new one had appeared, and she had hopped on one foot about the Tardis as the ring of asteroids appeared around her ankle even as the machine dematerialized from the originals. He was thrilled, of course, satisfied that he had indeed taken her somewhere “awesome”, that it should be so lasting on her little human life.
“And what about you?” She had asked, eyeing this man who was always dressed from bowtie to boots, showing no skin but his face and hands. “Do Time Lords get tattoos too?” His face had closed in then. He muttered something non-committal, then promptly dropped her back home, bidding her farewell till next Wednesday.
She feared he wouldn’t come back. But he did.
It wasn’t until after she saved the Doctor by throwing herself into his timestream that the new tattoo appeared. The pain was- well, it was like she was being ripped apart, which she was. The small of her back was shattering as she fell through The Doctor’s life, splitting into echoes, saving him time and again. Clara hurt so bad, she wanted to die.
But he came back for her, carried her out somehow. It took her several hours to reorient herself, to realize that the world around her belonged to the real Clara, herself, and not the echoes. They were all in her head now, clambering around. Some were more clear than others, but the resounding detail of each half-life was the tattoo that was now taking residence on her lower back.
Or rather, they all had pieces of it; pieces of China that, when assembled, formed a doll with her likeness. Back on the Tardis, the Doctor marveled over the little effigy, running his fingers over the little cracks etched onto the surface (and Clara tried very hard not to slap him for stroking her bare back).
“Amazing, truly incredible,” he murmured wistfully, and Clara wondered for what seemed like the hundredth time if aliens- specifically those from Gallifrey- received tattoos as well.
And then on Christmas she learned that yes, they did. He did.
She only caught a glance- made a point not to glance places- but she was stunned.
His skin was a kaleidoscope of colors and patterns, some delicate, some tribal, some bright blues and reds and some dull grey. It seemed that his face and hands were the only parts of him that had evaded the patterns and motifs.
There were three that stood out most to Clara.
Over his left heart there was a small lake- no, that wasn’t it. It was a little pond, a faded blue-grey, with a swan floating in it aimlessly. And right below that, a dented helmet with a feathery plume. Starting over his other heart, winding around his back, was a river, flowing waters of gold. She understood that one, and her heart ached for him. So many moments, so many losses, etched across his skin, and he bore that burden alone. All those memories.
He sorted out his clothes quickly, and when she turned back round, he was smiling that sad smile of his.
“Perhaps I’ll tell you about them later”, he intoned, fiddling with the console.
But later didn’t come. They were separated. Centuries for him, minutes for her, and she got him back, briefly, only to lose him in a burst of golden light. That was the moment that she realized she loved him, when she was faced with his loss. How typical of her.
The new man appeared, owl eyes and Scottish and cross.
And the spot over her heart burned.
This one was different, the way it appeared. Her mother’s scorched and felt like loss; the hourglass ached with the disappointment of dreams put on a shelf; the rings around her ankle were the hot rush of adventure. But this.
This radiated through her entire body, blazing through every fiber of her being straight to her soul. And the sensation never stopped; it only faded to a peculiar tingle, sometimes sending a warm shiver through her body.
For a while, she didn’t have time to check. They were crashing, then there were dinosaurs, and suddenly they were in Victorian London. With some effort, the Paternoster gang was able to transport him back to their home. With considerably more effort, Madame Vastra coerced the Doctor into the long nighty, allowing him to shoo the three women (and one Strax) out of the room in order for him to change.
Tall as he was, the night shirt only covered a portion of his arms and legs, and Clara was greeted with another surprise: the visible skin was completely unmarked. Where hours- eons- ago he had displayed a collage of images, there was now soft, flawless skin. His tattoos were gone.
It made sense of course. New body, new man. He was a clean slate, literally and figuratively.
But his change was so hard for her to overcome, and Vastra scolded her- to which she scolded right back. A T-rex was ablaze in the heart of London, and once again the Doctor was missing from her sight. When she was finally able to turn in for bed, she was so exhausted that she forgot to inspect her new mark. It wasn’t until the next morning that she finally discovered it.
Clara couldn’t understand how she missed it. It wasn’t just on her chest- it was everywhere. Her body had erupted into constellations. Most of them she recognized- she had seen or visited many of them. There was the Medusa Cascade, here was the moon (Earth’s Moon, that is), that planet there had to be Delphon. Stars and galaxies, planets and supernovas, were all drifting about her skin. The colors were amazing; not just silver and gold, but purple and fiery red, calm blue and vivid orange. Some places were brighter than others, particularly the ones where she had such fond memories. Her face was unmarked, and the stars faded off beyond her elbows.
It was like she and the Doctor- the other Doctor- had switched, blank skin for a masterpiece. It was breathtaking.
But all of this she admired later. It would strike her, much further in the future, how like her that was. All the wonders of this universe were open to her, but what truly captivated her, what always held her attention, was the Doctor.
Because at the epicenter of all of this beauty, directly over her heart, was a complex matrix of circles. They were the only inking on her body that remained still, but somehow were the most intriguing. She couldn’t read them, of course, but instantly Clara understood. Etched onto her heart in the same silver as his hair was the Doctor’s name.
And, once again, she had lost him.
Of course he had her back. Of course he found her. Because no matter whom the Doctor was now, he was her best friend. He was always that.
“I’m not your boyfriend.” Clara ached at those words. The tingling that was becoming familiar very quickly went just a little cold.
Yes. The Doctor was her friend. And she decided that moment not to tell him about the constellations dancing across her form.
In fact, Clara decided to hide her tattoos from everyone from that point. If the Doctor noticed that she stopped showing skin (even when they were trapped on a desert planet), he didn’t comment. Rightly so. They had been traveling with him in this body for a few months now, and surely he had acquired some new images. If he wouldn’t show his, well, she wouldn’t show him hers. New planets and stars appeared as they went along. The moon cracked, and another took its place. They fought, and once again, she was faced with his loss.
She went months without seeing him. Grew close to Danny. The first night they made love, the night he became the first person to see every inch of the cosmos on her skin, was the night she decided to have one last hurrah with the Doctor. She couldn’t let him go that easily.
It was Danny’s idea. He had been tracing her skin, after, occasionally asking a question. Have you seen this star burn? Did you walk on this planet? For some she would only smile. Others she described in detail, how the wind on this planet smelled strangely of strawberries even though the only fruit around was orange and quite deadly for humans, how the water of this ocean was so clear that you could see the homes of the amphibious people hundreds of feet below.
He didn’t believe most of them, Clara could tell. That was fine. She liked having those strange worlds to herself. But she described them all the same, slightly bemused, until-
“And what’s this?” Calloused fingers traced the circles just above her heart, and suddenly she pulled away, closed up.
She lied, of course. It’s nothing. Cosmic mumbo-jumbo, he wouldn’t understand. Danny had frowned at that. He had explained all of his tattoos to her, holding nothing back. He had so many, nearly as many as Clara herself. They were scars for him, battles long won. Fields on fire, men standing at attention. The silhouette of a weeping woman. But nothing would make her talk about them, and though he didn’t understand completely, he knew they were about her Doctor.
“You need to go to him. Give things a happy end.”
But she didn’t want it to end, and so lies, more lies, piling up and building until that terrible day.
Clara told Danny she loved him, and the spot over her other foot was on fire. And the saddest part was, at first she didn’t realize that it burned because of his loss. She wanted to believe it was a sign that maybe, just maybe, things would go right between them.
The little toy soldier marching over her foot mocked her. She was owed better.
She betrayed her Doctor, or intended to. Her face burned with shame, even when he forgave her, even though he tried so hard to give her what she wanted. Clara felt like she didn’t deserve him or his name, the one he kept hidden. She loved him. Hadn’t stopped, had she? From the moment he appeared before her in the aftermath of Trenzalore, he was what she wanted. But she let him down in the worst way. And so she lied again. Let him go home. Let him never know.
The stars faded and grew numb. The sands in her hourglass muddied into a sullen grey, crawling slowly downwards. That was her life for those lonely weeks. The taunting presence of what she once had and never would again kept her from the mirror. She dressed in the dark and dreamed of that which she lost.
In dreams he found her again. When he appeared on her roof she could feel the colors blaze to life across her body, nebulas bursting back into life. It felt so real; holding his hand, running for their lives (again). And she felt the weight of so many years without him, when she was old with countless regrets. It never happened, but she still felt as though she lived an entire life without him.
So when she woke up at last, for real this time, Clara didn’t hesitate to take his hand. Leaned in, kissed his cheek in her excitement and exuberance. He gaped back at her, all owl eyes, and Clara was struck by how similar and utterly different he looked in that moment to the moment she first saw him. The spot over her heart where his name rested tingled again as he smiled at her. There was no confusion, no regret in this moment, as they ran hand in hand to their Tardis, giggling like school children. Once inside he turned to her, looking happier than he had ever been in this form, and grasped her other hand.
“Clara, my Clara. How I missed you.” Her breath caught in her chest as he leaned down and pressed his lips to her forehead, returning that chaste kiss she had given him before. When he pulled back there was a question in his eyes. What are we now? Neither of them really had to ask. They had run away together, left everything else behind.
Clara broke his gaze after a long moment, looked down to the hands that were still entwined with his. A pleasant warmth was encircling her ring finger as a band of silver appeared before her eyes. When she looked back up at him, he was smiling again. The Doctor tilted his head down toward his own hand, which trembled slightly in her own.
Not her boyfriend indeed.
The Tardis had made a new bedroom for the two of them, perhaps as a sign to Clara that she approved, that their little feud had ended. Or maybe it was to keep them from snogging against the console, Clara never could tell with these things. They kissed, against the door, at the foot of the bed, between the removal of clothing. The Doctor’s eyes blazed when he pulled Clara’s nighty over her head, bright blue irises scanning over the stars and planets that he knew by name. For most of them, he had seen their birth and death, but never had they been so beautiful to him. His fingers lingered just above her navel, where she knew Gallifrey turned slowly amongst a sea of stars. His lips brushed across his own name as he whispered hers.
Clara divested him of his coat, then his hoody. He shivered when her hands slipped under his jumper; she could tell he was nervous, self-conscious even. So she kissed him again, reassuringly, since they both seemed to enjoy that so much. Told him they could go slow, if he was uncomfortable. Could even have the Tardis dim the lights, if he didn’t want to be seen just yet. He huffed at that.
“ I’m over 2000 years old, Clara, I’m okay with a little nudity.” Still, his movements were a little jerky as he turned his back to her and pulled the holey jumper off.
She was right; he had acquired some new tattoos during their travels. On his right shoulder was a little bow resting against a quiver of golden arrows; a glowing forest was blooming across his back. She tickled across his ribs, on which were the Tardis’ “round things” and he squirmed, frowning deeply though his eyes were still merry.
Her brow furrowed when she reached his front. It was mostly bare, save over his hearts, where there were two hand prints, solid black in ink. Noticing her confusion, the Doctor simply took his hand in hers.
Immediately, the black morphed into a collage of colors, swirling along the lines in warm reds and purples and blues. When he placed her hand over one, the other went bright gold. Oh. They were her hands, on his hearts. She remarked on how pretty the colors were, trying to keep the real emotion out of her voice. He wasn’t fooled, of course.
“The prints appeared the moment I regenerated,” he murmured gently, pulling her hand to his lips. It happened that way, sometimes. The first face his face saw, it could leave a mark, physically and also somewhere deeper. His previous body had that little pond as its first mark, right after he crashed his Tardis into a little girl’s backyard. The one before that, the “flirty one”, he said with an endearing snort, had a rose, always in bloom. He started to babble about other bodies, other tattoos, until she told him to shut up and pulled him onto the bed. For once he was happy to comply.
Much, much later, after whispered apologies and gentle touches and- as he so eloquently put it- “torrid hanky-panky”, they lay in bed together. Spooning, Clara called it, though the Doctor felt that was a ridiculous term, as they had met spoon-people and he doubted they participated in such activities. She had shushed him again, reaching a hand back to ruffle his hair in a way that both incensed and soothed. He had let it grow out again, and now it stuck out messily from their… vigorous activities, and Clara decided she quite liked this. Laying close in what could be considered a hug (he didn’t really mind, so long as it was with her and she didn’t just jump him, he had confessed), the patterns on their bodies blending together, their left hands entwined and touching where their matching bands were inked. It might be her favorite wonder in the universe, loving this man.
For a girl with galaxies to spare, that was saying a lot.
twelve/clara, ye ole' kissing to hide in plain sight trope
The Doctor seized Clara and tumbled back with her into one of the little curtained alcoves.
He clamped a hand over her mouth briefly and released it as the attendant approached. She caught on, thankfully, and pulled further back into the alcove. He flashed the attendant the psychic paper; she bowed to him and promised to be back in a moment with the wine and the incense.
“What’s up?” Clara hissed at him.
“My alarm tripped. The guards have discovered the breach in the queen’s security.”
“We can hide here. They think we’re fighting with each other.”
“We *are* fighting with each other.”
He ignored this and peeked outside the curtains. A hubbub at the entrance of the great hall. The musicians faltered and then resumed.
The attendant reappeared with a carafe of wine and a bowl of incense, already burning. The air was hazy with it already, but it would help the illusion. And– he aimed his sonic screwdriver at the burning stick and altered its chemistry ever so slightly. He grinned. That had been very clever of him. Or it was going to be very clever, once the guards got a snootful of that instead of the usual aphrodisiac. It would make them very suggestible indeed.
“This is a snogging booth,” Clara said. “One of those snogging booths you told me not to go near.”
The Doctor ignored that, too. They were not snogging booths, and he was quite certain he’d explained that.
“Soldiers in the hall,” he said.
“You think the queen got away?”
“We need to keep the palace shields down for at least ten more minutes. Then they can find us.”
“Just because we’re hiding in a snogging booth doesn’t mean you should get any ideas.”
The Doctor risked another look out. “They’re starting to search the alcoves. If they recognize you–”
“Have to make sure they don’t see my face.”
“No idea how we’ll manage that. I could steal a mask, but–”
“Sometimes you’re pretty stupid, you know that?”
Clara grabbed a fistful of his shirt and dragged him down to her level. And then she kissed him. And kept kissing him. Her free hand slipped inside his jacket and onto his waist. Her thoughts assaulted him for a moment until he could close himself off. He’d flinched away from her in the seconds before he regained control, but she hadn’t let go of him. It was a good idea. It’s what the alcoves were for: privacy for courting couples at the grand celebration of the return of the sun. Conceiving a child on this day of the year was a grand honor. He had explained all this to her and she must have been listening after all because she was still kissing him, and his entire body was on fire. He opened his mouth and her tongue thrust inside immediately. She pulled him back down onto the couch with him and then they struggled for a bit over who was to be on top. He settled this at last by grasping her wrists and stretching them over her head. Clara moaned and let him kiss her for a minute.
Then she said, “I wanna be on top.”
“Shut up,” he said, and then shut her up with his tongue in her mouth. Clara Oswald might protest about wanting to be on top, but that’s not what she craved. What she craved was his body on hers, her wrists pinned over her head, his thigh hard between her legs. And how did he know this? Those moments of telepathic contact, which he would either apologize for later or never, ever mention or hint at or go near ever again. It all depended on what happened after they got out of this. If she slapped him, no mention. If she asked him to carry on, apology. Later. Much later.
The incense was thick in the air and it made his head swim. Had he perhaps miscalcuated? Bother. And bah! It didn’t signify. The Doctor set himself to the task of doing what any courting aristocrat would do on Solstice Night: make his beloved tremble. Clara whimpered under him. The Doctor lifted her skirt.
Bootsteps coming nearer. The swish and clatter of curtains being pulled open and then closed again. The outraged voices of courting aristocrats.
She was panting under him now. He rolled his body onto hers fully. She wrapped her legs around him.
The rattle of curtain rings on the metal rod. The Doctor did not release her. “Excuse us, your excellencies,” said the soldiers, and the curtains rang shut again.
“You can stop now,” Clara said.
“Five more minutes,” he said. He bit her neck. She moaned.
“I’m still going to slap you when we’re back on the TARDIS.”
As it turned out, the events of the next half hour were a successful distraction from whatever it was she’d been angry with him about, and she never did get around to slapping him. Therefore he’d been clever at least twice over, which made it a very good day indeed.
“You guys need to stop complaining about Clara’s poor characterization because Moffat hasn’t had the chance to develop her yet! She’s only had half a season (and three specials)!”
NuWho characters who were more developed than Clara with equivalent or less screen-time:
Sarah Jane Smith
Craig and Sophie in The Lodger
Vincent van Gogh
Rita in The God Complex
Captain Avery in The Curse of the Black Spot
Canton Everett Delaware III
Ada in The Crimson Horror
Not all of these characters are perfect, but the point remains that you have a much clearer idea of what each person is and is not, far faster than you ever do with Clara. You know what would be jarring, what each person would never do, what their weaknesses and hopes are. Clara started off promising but quickly became generic, to my eyes. She does, and is, whatever the episode requires. In one episode she’s the bossy commander of a military platoon, in another she’s the sweet singing girl whose vulnerability reminds the scary warrior of his little daughter. In one episode she taunts the Doctor about his “snog box”, but later on she’s too shy to even admit she fancies him. None of the writers can agree on what they want Clara to be, so she ends up - frustratingly for those of us who want to like her - a cipher.