The Tardis noise echoed on Clara’s street. It was dark out, and cold. The door of the Tardis flew open and there stood the Doctor, grinning.
“Clara, I–” He stopped when he noticed where he was. What time was it? It must be nearly 10:00 at night.
He had parked the Tardis in front of Clara’s house on the street. He closed the door quietly and looked up to her bedroom window; the light was on.
Twelve straightened his suit and walked up to her door, ringing the doorbell. He heard footsteps inside, then the door opened, letting light from inside stream out into the dark, and there was Clara in her nightgown.
“Doctor! How wonderful to see you!” She smiled and refrained from hugging him, knowing that it made him uncomfortable. He looked over her. She had a white nightie on that stopped above her knees and was a button-up. It made him feel strange to see her in that. She made him feel different somehow. He looked back at her face. She was looking over him, too.
“Have you worn that suit before?” She asked, tilting her head ever so slightly the way she does.
“Hm? Oh, no, not usually,” He leaned back on one foot. “And why are you wearing that?” He nodded at her attire.
“I was about to go to sleep,” She yawned as if she needed it for proof. “But now you’re here! So, where are we going?” Her eyes were filled with excitement, but the rest of her looked tired. The Doctor laughed an abrupt laugh and shook his head slightly, smiling at her.
“What’s so funny?” She frowned.
“You always assume we’re going off to save the world. See, Clara, today, I havn’t sensed anything’s gone wrong! Except for the fact that I arrived much later in the day than I expected to,” He looked down at her.
“Well.. I like saving people,” Clara stated and waved him inside.
“Weren’t you going to sleep?” He asked, stepping in and looking at her.
“Well, now you’re here! Would you like a cup of tea?” She yawned and walked to the kitchen. He followed her.
She put the kettle on and they sat down at the table. She leaned on one elbow and stared happily at him.
“The Doctor, a Time Lord, in my kicten, sitting at my table. My best friend,” She smiled at him. One corner of his mouth lifted into a half smile.
“Clara Oswin Oswald, my companion, the best friend anyone could ask for, traveling in my Tardis, saving not only my life but many others,” He said in his thick accent, raising his eyebrows at her. She giggled.
The kettle started to whistle and she went to stand.
“No, no, let me,” Twelve got up from his chair and put a gentle hand on her shoulder, stopping her from getting up. He poured the water into two tea cups. He chose the prettier cup for Clara.
“What tea do you want?” He put the hot water in front of her and opened a cupboard, full of different kinds of tea.
“Why do you have so much tea?” He asked, astonished.
She laughed in a tired way. “I like tea!”
He shook his head with his eyes closed, then opened them again and looked just to be sure. Clara giggled.
“Well then. Tea of your choice? We’ll see if I can find it.”
“Just Earl Grey is fine,” she put her hands an inch from the cup, feeling the heat of the water.
Twelve found the Earl Grey tea; it was in front of his face. He plopped a tea bag into each cup and dropped two sugar cubes in his. Clara did the same.
“So, Clara, I was wondering if you wanted to join me in the Tardis tomorrow? It’s too late now, and you’re so tired,” He stirred his tea.
“To adventure?” She stretched before taking a sip.
“No, just to be in the Tardis. It’s much bigger than you think, even when you’re inside it. Ever wonder where my bedroom is? Or the showers?” He inquired. She looked up, curious.
“Actually, yes, I have wondered that,” She smiled.
“Then I’d be glad to show you around on an official tour,” He raised one eyebrow and half smiled down at her from under her hair. She yawned and put her head down to rest on her arms flat on the table. She sighed and turned her head so she could just look at him, and she closed her eyes.
Twelve stared at her. Tired little Clara. The way her cheek pushed up against her arm, the way she moved when she breathed, the way her eyelashes were shaped, the way–
No. Stop it, stop noticing things.
“Should I help you up to bed?” He asked, putting a hand on her arm.
“Mm.” She opened her eyes halfway. “I’m fine…” She made to get up, but she just couldn’t. She sighed gently and put her head back down. He stood up, wondering what to do.
She didn’t answer.
He walked over to her, leaned down and looked at her. She was asleep. He smiled down at her. She was so innocent. She was the best companion he’d ever had.
And yes, he did love her. That’s why he was so rude to Danny; he was jealous of him. And as horrible as it sounded, he was, in a way, thankful that Danny wasn’t here. He loved her. The thing is, she loved the Eleventh doctor. No one loved him, Twelve; he was old and grey. Clara looks at him but doesnt see him. She wanted to see Eleven, the one she loved.
The Doctor felt bad for the loss of her boyfriend. He knew how it felt to lose someone. It had happened to him before, with Rose, Rory, Amy, River, and a few before them.
Twelve just couldn’t figure out how to translate his emotions for her into actions. He couldn’t hug anyone without being uncomfortable.
He leaned down and slid his arms under her legs and put one on her back, lifting her up marriage-style even though his nerves told him otherwise. Her head leaned against his chest and she snuggled into it a little. He inhaled quickly as she did so, and became rigid.
Calm down, he told himself. He carefully made his way up the stairs to her room. He had seen it before.
He gently laid her down on her bed, then put the bedsheets on top of her, tucking her in.
Her head rested on the pillow, and her mouth was slightly open. He noticed some wilting flowers next to her bed. He took them out and went downstairs to throw them away. He found some indoor flowers she was growing and brought them up to put in the vase. He walked in and saw her snuggled against the pillow, hands up to her chest holding the blanket. She sighed in her sleep and shifted her legs.
He couldn’t help smiling. She was so adorable. He felt like he should do something, but he didn’t know what.
He walked over to the side of her bed and leaned down, looking at her face. She breathed gently, making the sheets move up and down slightly. He had to kneel down to be face to face with her.
He felt like he should kiss her forehead, or move a piece of her hair aside, or something, but he just couldn’t. He didn’t do hugs.
He got up, hands hanging by his sides.
“Goodnight, Clara,” He whispered, smiling, before turning off her light and walking out of her room, closing the door quietly.
He decided to sleep in the guest room which was next to hers.
He jerked awake to a loud scream in the room next to his. He panicked and fell out of bed, knocking his head into the bedside table, which made a glass full of water fall off the table and onto his head.
“ACH!” He rubbed his head as he stood up and stumbled out of the room. He quickly flung open the door to Clara’s room and turned on the light. She had tears streaming down her face and the blanket was pulled up to her chin. She gasped when he came in. Her eyes were wide with terror.
“Clara! What is it, what’s wrong?” He ran over to her.
“B-b-bad dream,” She shivered, closing her eyes shut tight.
“Tell me,” he kneeled next to her and took one of her hands in his. He rubbed his thumb into her palm. He learned this calming trick from her.
She looked down at the action, then back up at him. Her face looked like she was about to start sobbing. He looked at her, his face full of concern.
“Oh, it was so horrible,” She gasped, trying to hold in her tears.
“Tell me, Clara,” He searched her face, like she always did to him. She looked up at him, her eyes red from crying.
“You.. You were there, and Missy.. The Master… She tortured you… And…” She started to sob, great, shoulder-shaking sobs that made the doctor stare in alarm. He put a hand on her shoulder, stuttering, then he moved it to her back and rubbed it, trying to make her feel better, while still holding her hand with his other hand.
“It’s alright,” He assured her. Usually he would tell her to toughen up, but this didn’t seem the correct time to say that.
“She… She made me watch…” She gasped and a fresh batch of tears made its way down her stained cheeks.
“Oh, Clara,” Watching her cry made him want to cry. It was just so sad. He felt a lump rising in his throat, but he held the tears back.
“It’s okay, I’m here… I’m not dead, Clara, see?” He pressed, comforting her.
She squeezed his hand, looked up at him and tried to hug him, but it was awkward from where he was kneeling.
“Oh..” He sighed and sat on the edge of her bed, and she warmly pulled him to her, whimpering into his chest, like a scared child. Which she basically was compared to him.
“Don’t die, don’t die…” She kept whispering in between her sobs, grabbing fistfuls of the back of his suit, making sure he could never go away from her.
The Doctor felt tears brimming up in his eyes and one fell onto Clara’s shoulder. He hugged her back, gently.
“Oh, Clara,” He patted her back awkwardly. Was that an okay gesture?
She hugged him tight, pressing her face into his suit, which was now wet on the front with her tears.
“Doctor, it was horrible… She tortured you… Made me watch… Then she killed you, and you were just lying there, you weren’t moving, you didn’t regenerate or anything…” She cried into his chest, holding tight onto him.
“Shh…” He looked down at her. “It’s okay. I’m here. I’m here…” He just sat there, letting her hug him even though it made him uncomfortable. He sighed internally and stayed put, his arms around her.
He waited until she was crying silently, a tear falling every two minutes or so. She finally pulled away from him and wiped her eyes.
“Oh.. I need a tissue,” She covered her nose and looked around for a tissue box. The doctor saw one on her dresser and handed it to her. She blew her nose and the doctor waited.
She sat still, looking down at her hands. The doctor put his on top of hers and squeezed them.
She sniffed and looked at his soft hands. His wrinkly hands; he was grey, old, wrinkly. Yes, maybe he was, but she still loved him. She didn’t care.
He raised his eyebrows at her.
She struggled with what to say.
“I’m so glad to have you as a best friend,” She said instead of what she was going to say, searching his face.
“Me, too, Clara."
She looked over at a digital clock on her bedside table.
"It’s 3 a.m.,” She stated, wiping her nose.
“Yes, it is,” Twelve agreed, looking down at her tear-stained face.
“Wait here,” He got up and walked out of her room toward the bathroom. He wet a facecloth and squeezed it so it was damp then went back to her room.
“Sit still,” He told her as he gently wiped her face clean.
“There,” He smiled softly down at her. He wasn’t usually so kind to humans, but Clara was a major exception. He would do most anything for her, but she didn’t know that yet.
He was scared to tell her he loved her. What if she didn’t love him? What if she found that gross, or strange?
He found himself staring at her forehead, her eyes, her lips, her nose.
“Doctor–?” She started before he leaned forward towards her. She fell silent.
He kissed her softly on the forehead. She breathed quickly but softly, knowing he wouldn’t usually do that, and also that he wouldn’t do it again anytime soon. That was very special. He straightened again, and he was blushing. Clara smiled gently.
“Thank you,” She tilted her head and sniffed, smiling at him.
“For… For what?” He asked, confused.
“For letting me know,” She held his hand.
She looked at his forehead, his eyes, his lips, and his nose.
“That you… That you love me,” She got up on her knees and kissed him carefully on his forehead. He was stiff as a board, but he softened when she sat back down. He was blushing.
“I love you as a best friend, Clara. I’m not your boyfriend,” He started gently but then his voice got a bit stern.
“I… I never thought you were,” She stared down at her hands.
He started to get up, but she grabbed his sleeve.
“No.. Uhm, please don’t leave me. I don’t want you to leave me after that dream,” She bit her lip and looked up at him with puppy eyes. He got stiff; this meant he would have to sleep next to her.
“Oh,” He said, thinking about it.
“Please? I… Don’t want to be away from you,” She looked up at him, now holding his hand.
“Fine,” He sighed in his Scottish accent. She scooted over in the bed so that she was next to the wall. He lay next to her, but on top of the covers. He lay on his back with his hands resting on his stomach. He closed his eyes, and Clara watched him. She turned so she faced him, and she snuggled up against his arm, making him cringe slightly.
He closed his eyes and they fell asleep.
He woke up again not 30 minutes later because he was freezing. He went under the covers, trying not to be loud.
Clara shifted next to him and he froze.
“What are you doing?” She breathed. She apparently thought he was doing something more personal.
“I’m cold,” He whispered back to her, and got fully under the blankets.
“I’ll help,” She said, and he didn’t know what it meant at first, but he got the gist of it when she snuggled up against him, hugging his side to her. He went rigid.
“Oh, stop that,” She giggled and closed her eyes, holding him next to her.
He turned his head to look at her. He kept his eyes open so they would adjust to the darkness, and he saw her outline. He moved a bit closer to her, then closed his eyes and fell asleep.