Second Chances - Doctor Who Fanfic
Short Story by: Haven Lae
Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who and Doctor Who and all of it's attatchments (Including David Tennant...) are sole property of the BBC.
BACKGROUND: Claire is not only the shy and crazy new companion for the Doctor during \"The David Tennant Specials,\" but she's also clever and oddly gifted with the power to read people. Just a bit of info. Now read on! And enjoy!
PART 1 ? Flaws In a Non-Existent Plan SECOND CHANCES REWRITTEN
The war was over. Won. His reward was all that lie beneath his pain.
The Doctor and Claire sat in the TARDIS with an awkward silence as their only comfort. The battle was finished, and the Doctor knew that his time was up. And in some odd way, he felt comforted by the fact that once again he was alone. Left with nothing but Claire, all he had was the small consolation of ending up with nothing and losing everything.
Claire looked at the Doctor with a worried expression, surely thinking about what they were going to do now. He had no words to say, no hope to give, and certainly no future to look forward to. Claire's eyes barely began to water, but it didn't slip past the Doctor's vision.
\"So. What do we do now?\" Claire's words were the Doctor's exact prediction. He wasn't sure how to answer her without making everything utterly dismal. He looked up at her and was instantly reminded of Rose by the look on her face; worried, mostly for his well-being.
\"I don't know,\" he finally concluded, pursing his lips and looking away. Claire continued anyway.
\"Well, you're gonna change...soon...and I'm wondering if I should just...go.\" The idea of being completely on his own was so appealing, he almost shooed her out right then and there. Her gift had caused him enough trouble already.
\"Nah, you're fine. I'll be the same person I've always been, just a bit of a different look. Physically.\" Claire's previous readings and notions had already given her this knowledge, but humans always needed reassurance and explaining it probably helped her nerves a bit.
\"Doctor...s'there something bothering you?\" Claire said, tripping over the domestic nature of the question. Personal levels were usually a boundary he'd never crossed until he met Donna, who was always asking questions about people and places of the past.
\"To be completely honest,\" he said, pausing and watching as Claire nodded in understanding, \"There's always SOMETHING bothering me. And right now, just about every 'something' is at work on me 'bout now.\" The TARDIS went silent again, and Claire stared awkwardly at her feet. Often times, she didn't have an answer to the Doctor's responses.
\"Doctor-\" The Doctor looked up and watched his quivering companion who looked like she was in cold sweat or something.
\"Claire, you alri-\"
\"I'm fine, but I'm worried about you. There's a lot you don't talk about, and I saw that...Donna, it was, and I was wondering if she was, you know...\" The Doctor, although clueless most of the time, managed to understand what she was pointing to.
\"No, no. We weren't...together, if that's what you mean.\" Claire sighed, strangely relieved. The Doctor's eyebrow arched I'm confusion.
\"Ha, thought she was a little...not your- type?\" She laughed nervously. \"Well anyway...\" The Doctor faked a smile and slumped a little farther in his seat.
\"But there's someone. Doctor. There's someone else. She's the something that's bothering you.\" Claire's sight kicked in quickly, giving her the odd silver gleam in her eyes that gave the illusion of a metal iris. But then, just like that, it was gone. \"Doctor, please. Let me see.\" Her eyes widened in a puppy-dog innocence and she clasped her hands tighter together to keep them from going to straight to his temples. The Doctor gave her a grim look and then looked away as she sighed.
\"Doesn't matter. Not anymore.\" The Doctor stated.
\"Obviously it matters enough. There's something...wrong. I can see it, Doctor. I'm not daft.\" Claire gently took his face and turned it towards her. \"I wanna feel it, too. You can't always be alone in pain, Doctor.\" He exhaled a breath of consent and turned the rest of his body towards her. She put her two fingers on his temples as the Doctor did sometimes, and let the memories melt into her fingertips.
There was a blonde, pretty and coloured by her bright smile. There was a man in a leather jumper and large ears--who she soon recognized as the Doctor--who grabbed her hand and led her from a mannequin infested basement. Memories of a Lady Cassandra, glowing Gelth, Slitheen, murderous Daleks, gas-mask people, and the words Bad Wolf rushed through her head as the girl, whom she'd figured to be named Rose, and the Doctor ran about to save each world.
Then came a regeneration, a hospital, a stolen kiss, werewolves, a devil, and an almost confession. There were ghosts who unmasked as Cybermen, more Daleks, and then a void.
The picture of this void was clear and sharp, and Claire could tell that this was important. He sent the blonde home, but she came back, only to get whisked into the void and caught by her father in the last second before being taken back to a parallel universe. They were then on beach and she told him she loved him but he was gone before he could return the favor. They were both in pain for several years and she watched as the universe cracked down and they were brought together again.
Then there was the beach again. Bad Wolf Bay. A second Doctor, almost identical to her Doctor aside from the blue apparel, stepped in with his human heart and claimed his Rose by finally confessing his feelings. It was terrible to feel the emotions that ran through these moments, and as much as Claire tried to accept it, it was all too much. She was only human, after all.
Claire's hands dropped from his face and she looked at the Doctor, her face stretched in pain and horror as one last thought passed into her.
Claire put a hand over her mouth and looked down with a quick sob. She wasn't quite in tears, but completely in shock. She looked up at him, her eyes wet, and inhaled deeply.
\"You knew all along. Didn't you?\" Claire whispered as if people were listening. The Doctor swallowed and sank deeper into his seat. After several silent minutes, he nodded. He could tell by Claire's reaction that it was a bad idea to let her feel his emotions so openly. He'd revealed about four years of his painful past, and the amount of feelings that went into each memory was surely too much for a human to handle.
\"Doctor. I never thought...couldn't even begin to think. But now I can see. I can feel you, your hurt.\" Claire said. She looked up at him innocently. \"There must be some way you could...?\" The Doctor shook his head, taking a deep breath.
\"The walls have closed. For good this time. If they open again, we're gonna be in a hell of a lot of trouble,\" the Doctor explained, abruptly standing up, putting his hands in his pockets, and walking around the consol of the TARDIS. Claire stood up next to him.
\"But Doctor, there's a way. And you knew it all along! I saw it, in the back of your mind. In a door you thought you closed. Doctor, you can't just let this go. You can't leave her on her own!\" The Doctor's head shot up and his quizzical face replaced the serious one.
\"What? How'd you even begin to see that? That's beyond you,\" the Doctor questioned.
\"It's that Cascade. Medusa Cascade. That's right. I saw Doctor, there's a way into her world. What is it? Too dangerous for you? Cause if I remember right, you just about stare danger in the eye every other second!\" Claire's voice escalated. These emotions were controlling her and he was starting to regret allowing her in.
\"Claire, it's not just dangerous, it's too, too-\" The Doctor said through his teeth and then looked away. \"Painful. You saw, she'll get old and die one day, right in front of me. I can't. Not to mention, it won't be long before I change. She wouldn't even recognize me.\" Claire wasn't about to give up.
\"But you said you wouldn't leave her behind. You left her on some ruddy beach with a carbon copy! How's that fair to her, Doctor? Don't get me wrong; I'd normally blow this off, but it's my pain too now, and I'm not gonna let her get hurt!\" Claire shouted.
\"You think I wanted this to happen? The first time she got stuck was bad enough, but leaving her with somebody else that wasn't myself wasn't exactly my idea of closure. The last thing I need to do is blunder in (and possibly die in the process) last second as someone else and watch her wither away, every single day. I couldn't do that to her.\"
\"But he's dying, Doctor! He has a direct line to your thoughts and you're just ignoring him while he's screaming at you! Your human...clone couldn't survive without Donna's connection. Once you wiped her mind, you took away half of the metacrisis and he's not even gonna last a few days!\" Claire heaved, out of breath.
\"Ha, you think I don't know that,\" he hissed, choking back tears. \"There's so many flaws with going back. First being the current in the Cascade. Sure, if I get through, I'm in the web that links all the universes together, but it's a shot in the dark trying to find the right one. I'll have regenerated by then and I'll be someone else to her. I won't be her Doctor anymore. Don't you see Claire? There's no going back. It's wrong.\" Claire stepped forward, putting her hand on top of his.
\"But there are things you're avoiding,\" she said much quieter, \"Things you don't wanna even think about because you're afraid of the outcome. Like the vortex. Doctor, if she sees it again, she'll be strong enough this time to take it. She'll live forever, she'll always be here with you. Forever.
\"And me. I've seen enough. I have all this energy from every reading I've ever done. I could help you. I could give my energy to you; you'll heal and stay the same. You know that.\" The Doctor's eyes widened and he glared at her with a crazed look in his eyes.
\"You'd kill yourself.\" Silence.
\"Doctor, do you remember that first night you found me? What was I about to do?\"
\"I don't see how that-\"
\"What was I about to do, Doctor?\" she demanded to know. The Doctor gave her a stern expression.
\"Kill yourself. Suicide.\" Claire grasped his hand tighter.
\"But this time, I can do it for something. For someone other than myself. I won't have to be selfish; I can help you.\" The Doctor suddenly grabbed her by the shoulders and looked her in the eyes.
\"Can't you see? This is my habit. I fashion ordinary people like you into weapons just like he said and they all end up dead. Trying to save ME. But I'm not going to let that happen anymore. I won't.\"
\"But you don't know why, do you?\" Claire asked him quietly. The Doctor raised his eyebrow. \"People die in your name because you're important. You have something worth living for and this universe couldn't survive without you. People die for you so you don't have to. People die for you because they love you.\" she said. And with one big, sad smile, she said:
\"Now. Let's save Rose.\"
© Copyright 2017 Haven Lae. All rights reserved.