She tossed and turned in her bed. What she saw wasn’t real, she had to keep reminding herself. It wasn’t real. It didn’t happen. He isn’t real. Forget. Forget. She imagined it all. She had to remember that.
But it was a lie. Damien didn’t understand. He was real. And he was out there, waiting for her to rescue him. She had to go find him. Clara jumped out of her, put on her coat and climb out of her window.
She ran through the morning grass and climbed her through the tunnel to the TARDIS. She searched around, it had to be here somewhere. But nothing appeared. She knew it was here. She saw it here.
"Where are you?" She muttered in frustration.
She walked forward and was pushed back by an immensely big force. Her head hit against the ground as she stared up at the TARDIS reappearing before her eyes.
"So you have an invisibility cloak huh? Fantastic."
She brought herself up as she brushed off the dirt on her coat. “You need to tell me how to get inside, how do I unlock you? I need to know.”
Figures, not like the thing is living anyway. She spent more than an hour sitting there, staring at the big blue thing as it blinked on and off. It made her sad, she could imagine the inside all dusted and old. The TARDIS was alone, just like she was and it broke her heart. It needed her and she needed it. She had to find a way to get inside without Damien finding out, but how?
It had been weeks since they had declared their love and even though she promised she would focus on him previously, she just couldn’t. She loved Damien she did, but this wasn’t her, she wasn’t meant to stay home like her mother. She was meant to be out there and see the stars.
She finally brought herself back home and lied in the bed, thinking of adventures and the tales her mother use to tell when she was young. She tried this whole “Grown up” thing and she decided she didn’t like it. She didn’t want to do it anymore, she wanted to go away and be free.
"Doctor, where are you?" She whispered, hoping somehow an answer would be said.
It all happened so fast, quite mushed in a blur actually. She shut her eyes tight and before she could react,Damien had his lips pressed against hers. She almost found herself falling in, their lips perfectly fitting on top of the other, but she realized it was Damien. She opened her eyes, pushing him back gently. “I can’t do this..”
He looked flushed, unaware of his surroundings. He reminded her of someone who just woke up from some wonderful dream. Her heart was racing, her mind was blank. She didn’t understand herself why she had pushed him away,she’d always dreamed of this. It didn’t feel right though.
"What’s wrong? Was I bad?" Damien asked, looking horrified at the idea that he was a bad kisser. She didn’t understand how someone could be a bad kisser, in her eyes, she figured there was some connection that you had with someone when you were pressed against each other that way and if that connection sparked, it was good, if it didn’t, then she supposed it was bad.
She shook her head. She was lost for words. What would she say? “Oh I love you Damien.. I am just really scared of commitment and also mentally insane since I am obsessed with a blue box and a fairy tale alien,” She didn’t say that, instead she responded with, “What’s that Mom? Yeah I’m coming!” And she ran off.
Weeks went by since she had seen the TARDIS and apparently spaced out for what felt like hours to Damien. She didn’t remember anything though, but something had scared her, which was all she could remember. She found herself waking up randomly in cold sweat, her heart racing, as she forgot what the hell it was that scared her so badly. Something dark was inside her, she could feel it, but she just couldn’t find it? That doesn’t make any sense, but it’s true.
At night, she’d visit the TARDIS through the tunnels guided around the cemetery. She didn’t need Damien following her or being with her when she was visiting the TARDIS, she wanted to be alone. There was something about the blue box, the way it lit up when she came near, she felt it was waiting for her this whole time since she threw the bean down. She didn’t understand how it grow though and that’s what made it even more fantastic.
She ran through the underground tunnels this late evening, splashing in the murky water. It was disgusting, but worth it every time. There was something about the blue police box that caught her attention more than it had when she was a child.
She struggled pushing with all her strength the stone door opened. She would always appear behind the TARDIS. She walked around it, observing every inch of the mysterious box. It didn’t make any noises, it just lit up when she appeared. She tried touching the doors again, seeing if she can remember anything, but nothing happened. She would sit down and lie her back against the TARDIS, thinking aloud as if it could hear her.
She’d talk about Damien and tell the TARDIS all her stories with him since they were kids. She’d talk about her mum and then her dad, but nothing happened either. She would talk about her blank dreams that she could never remember, but knew they scared her to death. Nothing happened. She mentioned her dreams and stories she had heard about the Doctor and then she swore the TARDIS blinked. It’s light blinked, more slowly flickering as she mentioned him, the Doctor.
She jumped up on her heels and looked up at the light again. “Doctor..” She said cautiously. Nothing happened. Maybe she was that tired, that sleep deprived, that now she was imagining the blue police box responding to her because of him. Damien said he saw the TARDIS so she couldn’t be going that crazy. She didn’t want to tell her parents either, because what if they came and it wasn’t here anymore?
Her parents told her the Doctor was real and she believed them until she got older, when the stories stopped, when she grew up a bit, but now.. This is just mad. Everything is wrong, life is wrong, history is wrong. The Doctor is wrong. She stared at the TARDIS again as her eyes started to feel heavy as she stared up at the light.
She snapped out of the memory as she stared back up at the glowing blue castle. Her mouth felt dry. Her heart was racing. She wanted to take off her jacket since it seemed to have gotten stuffy and hot in the haunted place.
She didn’t know what she was suppose to do, does she open the door? She reached out to the handles on the front doors, she froze before touching it. What if someone was in there? What if he was in there?!
She turned around to look at Damien for some answers, but he looked just as confused as she was. She turned back to the TARDIS with wandering eyes. “What do I do?” She asked the air, aware that Damien was probably to tripped out to answer back.
She balled her right hand into a fist and hesitantly knocked. And as her fist knocked against the door, the earth beneath her feet cracked and whirled into dust, changing its scenery.
All of the sudden she was on a cloud, the cloud in her dreams, she wasn’t a child though like she always dreamt, but she wasn’t wearing her original clothes either.
Her hair was up now, curled even. Her body felt compressed in a tight navy blue dress. It was proper, nothing like her. What is this place? She stared around in the disbelief, had the TARDIS transported her to where he secretly was? On a cloud. She took it all in as she smiled at the stars and all around her.
She heard creaking. She spun around to find the Doctor opening the doors. “Doctor?” She whispered in excitement. He smiled at her, as if he knew who she was this whole time, as if he was expecting her this whole time.
He continued opening his doors as he stepped inside. She had never been inside or imagined what it looked like. She spent days and days just watching the blue castle until.. Never mind.
"Where are you going?" She called out to him. It was as if he couldn’t hear her saying the words, he smiled like he heard something else. She couldn’t hear him either.
She ran inside as he stood there, smiling at her. It was different though. This wasn’t right. This wasn’t what was suppose to happen. “Goodbye Clara,” The Doctor hissed. She flinched at his voice, “What? I don’t understand.”
He just smiled, his eyes soulless as they looked behind her. Before she could see what he was staring at, cold arms wrapped around me forcefully. It pulled her backwards out of the TARDIS.
Her eyes were full of terror as she watched him do nothing, just let her be taken. She tried to fight but the thing was pure ice as it locked her in its arms, pulling her over the cloud.
"But that’s impossible Clara.." Damien muttered under his breath. And it was impossible. It really was. It freaked her out as much as it did to him. But it made her relieved or less empty inside, as if she finally found what she had been looking for all these years.
He was lost for words, his voice was barely audible, as was Clara’s. She didn’t understand it either. They were so young then during the dangerous storm. She remembered it so clearly as she grinned at the memory. He had come to her house in the middle of the night while the pouring rain attempted to overpower the roars of thunder and flashes of lightning. She was frightened, in her head all she kept wishing for was the Doctor to come and protect her.
She jumped when a shadow flashed behind her window. She pulled the covers up to her eyes, whimpering until it would disappear. “Please save me from the monsters,” she would whisper repeatedly. Yet no one came.
"Psst! Clara! Open the window! It’s freezing out ‘ere!" The familiar voice screamed through the thunder’s roars. She dropped the blanket quickly and quickly tiptoed to the window. It had been three years since she had gotten the bean, they were both almost fourteen. She pretended to grow out of the Doctor’s tales and dreaming of adventures, but with Damien, he never made her pretend, in fact, he always reminded her to never grow up. He was her Peter Pan.
She used all her strength to push up her window frame so he could crawl in. He was soaked from the rain outside, shivering as he finally stood up beside her. He was taller than her now, by so much it seemed.
He grew up in his appearance more than she had. The popular girls at our school took attention to him now, but he always hung out with her instead. She took the idea off in her thoughts as she realized she was gazing at him.
He smiled, “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
"You didn’t!" She tried to lie, but she was horrible at it.
"You’re a terrible liar Clara." He grabbed something from the coat he was wearing, it was a book of some sort. She gently took it from his hands as he handed it to her. She smiled big, he was obsessed with writing now.
"The Girl Who Can," she whispered as she slowly touched every letter of the engraved title of the book.
"Only for you," he said quietly.
She looked up at him, wanting to ask him so many questions, like What did that mean? Only for her..? Does he feel the same way she does? But her words just wouldn’t jumble through her mouth.
"You went through all this trouble just to give me a book, I’m not worth that much," Clara said kindly, as she put the book inside her book case filled with other stories including the many books he wrote before the one she held in her hands.
"You’re the only one who believes in my stories.. In me. My parent say it’s useless to be a writer. You say it’s everything a person can dream for.. To write own their imaginations onto paper. You’re my muse. You’ll always be worth it."
She hugged him tightly at the last words. It wasn’t what she wanted to hear, but it was close enough for now. She didn’t want to ruin any moment they had left. The thunder roared again, making her jump back.
"So what time shall we meet at this oh-so haunted place?" Clara asked, poking Damien on the shoulder. He smiled fondly at her. It was a kind smile, she loved it when he did that. He always spent a lot of his past times frowning, she’d like to think that they were each other’s anchor. She made him smile and he let her dream, while he stood by her side each time.
They trusted each other. She couldn’t stop but just think about him. She wanted the words to pour out of her mouth, how she felt about him, but it was as if she were trapped in her throat, piling on one another, not being able to come out the way she wants them too. She was afraid to even speak at all.
They walked back to his car and drove back home. If they wanted to be out of late, then she would have to come home early. She was nineteen, yet her parents treated her as if she were four.
She had to slap herself inside her mind, she needed to be more grateful towards them, they could have kicked her out, but they loved her. It was quiet in the car even with Damien playing his favorite mixes on his stereo in his car. Her mind just kept dropping off this reality and falling other places, specially where the Doctor was.
She imagined the Doctor coming to save her, rescue her from this life, this boredom, even though in reality no one ever came. She sighed. She wished he were real, but he never had come for her yet. She would wait years, believing the silly man with a blue castle would come and rescue her, but no one came. She wanted to see the blue castle again, but her dreams never consisted of anything relatable to it.
"You alright?" Damien’s voice interrupted her thoughts. She almost jumped at his voice, but she kept herself not surprised. She nodded her head and smiled. Her real smile.
His car halted to a stop in front of her garage. She turned to him, smiling again. He smiled in return, almost a hungry look in his eyes as if he had something so important to say, but it wouldn’t come out. The same problem with her hopefully. She kissed him quickly on the cheek, “See you later. 9 o’clock?” He nodded.
Their hours of rehearsal for their college’s production went smoothly. Clara felt she still had much to fix on her character, but so far she was content with the way she rehearsed it today. Damien was wonderful, as well.
He always was the best actor among them both. The way he just adapted to his characters was something she wished she had, then again she wished she had a lot of things.
Not money and all those material objects, but an adventure. She dreamed of an adventure, that’s all she ever wanted since she was a little girl. She wanted the Doctor to be real, obviously he wasn’t. She grew up after realizing he would never come since he never existed, which broke her heart.
She still remembered all the stories though and she loved remembering them. Eventually her mother wrote them all in a book for her to read when she was a kid, to help her mind expand and all that educated importance.
She always spent her nights under the stars with Damien as she explained what star was which and he always seemed to listen, never dozing off. He was wonderful, he made her feel wonderful.
But she still had no guts to tell him how she felt. She watched him carefully as they walked off into the park.
It wasn’t quite night yet, the sun was still brightening their way through the park. She stopped in her tracks as she stared off at a cemetery near by. Damien stopped by her, watching her now. She didn’t know why, but the place gave her a cold filling, a sense of deja vu.
As if she had been there before, but she hadn’t. She hadn’t even known there was a cemetery here.
*Eleven years later*
Years had gone by and unfortunately so did the school years. Last year of high school had ended and A levels would be coming soon for Clara. It was her birthday today.
Finally, she thought. She stretched herself out like a cat as she yawned, groggily opening her eyes until the realization hit her. It was her birthday! She shot up out of her bed excitedly and ran downstairs.
Sure enough she found her parents standing by the table with huge grins as they modeled off to a special breakfast made just for her. “Happy Birthday Clara!” Her parents screamed in unison.
They sat on the bus, leaving school. School went fine for Clara, it’s almost the end of the year and she couldn’t wait for summer. Damien had become one of her closest and only friend at the school. He was sweet. She was his only friend too, which she liked. They were inseparable and they spent most of their recess talking about all these comics they read together or movies they watched together.
For younglins, there schedule of friendship was pretty old. They called each other and watched television on the phone late at night. Her mum and dad didn’t mind, they actually encouraged her to make a friend.
The best part about Damien was that he always listened to her problems or her dreams. He loved the stories she would tell during their lunch break at school about the Doctor. She would retell the stories the best she could remember that her mum had told her the night before.
Eventually he just ended up spending the night and her mum would tell them the story together as they both fell asleep on opposite sides of the bed. Damien was the only she knew who didn’t have this illness the girls at her school called cooties? She didn’t quite understand it, in fact when her and Damien first spent their time together, the girls tried keeping her away, pretending to be her friend. It didn’t make much sense to her.
Damien seemed perfectly healthy. He was funny too, not boring or gross. He was sweet, as she said before. He would hang out with Dad a lot too. They would talk about boy stuff when she would go to dance classes or go shopping with her mum. On the way home, Damien fished through his backpack, frustration all over his face as he rummaged through papers and books to find whatever it was he was looking for.
"No!" Clara screamed out as she hid herself under the covers. Rose scooped her up from the covers, holding her close, "It’s alright love. They meet again." Clara looked up at her accusingly, "When!"
Rose smiled, ” When the Doctor needs her the most, she’ll come.” Clara scrunched up her nose, “But I want her to come now. I liked Billie and the Doctor loves her.. I just know he does!” She crawled back inside the covers, Rose laughed at Clara’s incessant need to make Rose skip to when she comes to save the Doctor.
She pulled her out from the covers again, pecking her forehead quickly, “It’s time for you to go to bed. You have school tomorrow.” Clara pouted, “Can I just stay home with father? Please!” Rose shook her head, ” You need to go to school Clara. You’ll be fine.” She rolled her eyes and then frowned, “No one likes me there. They think I am strange..”
Rose scoffed, ” You, strange? How dare they! Does the Doctor need to come beat them up?” Rose pretended to get up as if she were going to call out to the Doctor, Clara instantly jumped up, pulling Rose back to the bed. “No no no! They’ll only be meaner. I can do this myself! I’ll go to school, don’t tell the Doctor or else he won’t want me.”
"Now if it’s one thing I know Clara.. The Doctor only takes the best and you know what?" Clara smiled revealing her front teeth missing, "What?" Rose got on her knees so she was eye to eye level with Clara, "You are the best and one day, he’s going to come and take you into the clouds and see those stars."