A/N: So I have no idea what "Dark Waters" / "Death in Heaven" is going to hold… but this is just my fan speculation. I know that it doesn't include all the images seen in the trailers, and you'll probably be put out by the ending of this story, but I have done my very best. I have the feeling that Moffat is weaving quite the web where this twoparter is concerned and I for one just can't wait!
Clara, My Clara
It was dark, and Clara was sitting in the dark. She was sitting in the dark and trying to keep her mind off the two things that were giving her grief; the Doctor and Danny. Danny was someone that was comfortable. He was normal and secure. He made her feel like she was in love and yet despite that, she found herself lying to him for the sake of the Doctor.
Her Doctor… well, Clara supposed that the Doctor that she travelled with now really wasn't her Doctor. Her Doctor was the man with the floppy hair and the bow tie. He was the one whose smile made her weak at the knees and who she had fancied into believing that he was her boyfriend. But then again, the Doctor that she traveled with was still that man. Different to be sure, gruffer, more unrefined, and older… oh yes, her new Doctor was most definitely older and despite the fact that she had told Vastra something different, she had a hard time accepting the change.
Yet there were moments, those special moments, when they were running, or solving something clever, that she felt like nothing had changed at all. Those were the moments that Clara lived for, and those were the moments that Danny was asking her to give up. He said that there were wonders on Earth, and there were, Clara didn't deny that; but how could she give up all the things that she hadn't seen out in the universe. The Doctor had lived for over two-thousand years and not seen it all, Clara couldn't possibly hope to see it all. And she never would, if she had to make the choice between the Doctor and Danny Pink.
The sound startled Clara out of her internal musings. She went to the door, thinking that it might be Danny, ready to say that her travels with the Doctor were none of his businesses. As she reached the door, she hoped that it would be the Doctor, willing and ready to take her to somewhere fantastic. But when she opened the door, she found neither. Just a small package, with her name typed onto a label on the front.
Strange, she thought to herself. She couldn't think of who would give her a package with no return address. Curiosity got the better of her, and she opened it up without even closing her door. There, nestled between some tissue paper was a vortex manipulator. She knew what it was because she had seen one before, she had used one before, but that had been when she was in the vaults of UNIT. This one had been hand delivered to her, and it had a message attached.
Clara, the message read. This is the Doctor speaking. I've run into a bit of trouble and I'm going to need your help. I've sent this package via the Teleport-Time-Express. They guarantee that it will reach you after the events of the forest… do you still remember the forest by the way? Oh I'm sure that you do, anyways, I've sent you this, and the following co-ordinates in the hopes that you'll come and help. Please help Clara. —The Doctor—
The Doctor was in trouble. Clara didn't even bother to think about why he had sent the manipulator instead of travelling by TARDIS. She just put it on her wrist, turned the message over and imputed the coordinates. She took a deep breath and hit the button, her world flashing around her in a bright light.
The TARDIS gave a jolt. The Doctor stared at the console annoyingly. He was going to pick up Clara for another adventure, he wasn't sure how many he was going to have with her, and he wanted to cram in as many as possible.
"What are you doing old girl?" he asked his TARDIS. "Gentle please."
"Doctor," came a voice from outside the TARDIS. "Doctor are you in there?"
I know that voice, the Doctor thought to himself. He went to the doors and flung them inwards. He saw Kate Lethbridge-Stewart standing there. He stepped out of the TARDIS and saw that he was in a dark hanger. There was a plane a few yards away and there were soldiers all around.
"I don't suppose that you had anything to do with me landing here so unexpectedly?" the Doctor asked in his brash tones.
"Is that you?" Kate asked as she took a step forward. "My, you've certainly changed."
"You haven't Kate Stewart," the Doctor grimaced. "What have you done?"
"What needed to be done," Kate told him. "We need your help."
"Something that is most troubling, and better explained on the way." Kate turned and began to walk to the plane. It was only then that the Doctor noticed Osgood standing there as well. She wasn't wearing the long scarf like she had been last time. No, she was wearing a bow-tie and converse sneakers. No doubt it was an homage to the two Doctors who helped to save her life the last time that they had met. It filled the Doctor with a bit of pride to know that he was finally making bow-ties cool again, despite the fact that his current incarnation wouldn't be caught dead in one. But despite the pride at Osgood's fashion sense, he wasn't about to go anywhere without Clara.
"I'll be with you in a moment Kate," the Doctor began. "I just need to get Clara."
"Who?" Kate asked as she turned back to face the Doctor.
"Clara," he repeated. Surely she couldn't have forgotten his companion already. His time senses said that it had been less than a year since the Zygon invasion had been thwarted. "Clara Oswald. You met her Kate."
Kate shook her head. "Sorry, but we have no record of you ever having a companion named Clara Oswald."
"No…" the Doctor took a step back. "No that can't be right."
"Doctor please," Kate pressed. "We are short on time."
The Doctor turned to go back into his TARDIS but saw that it was being picked up with a huge hook and manoeuvred to the plane. Knowing that he had little choice he followed Kate up the ramp and into the machine that would take him to a destination unknown.
The plane took off, and as soon as it reached cruising altitude, Kate led the Doctor to a conference room.
"So is this the part where you tell me what is going on?" he asked.
"Yes," she handed him a tablet with a schematic on it.
"What is this?" he asked.
"This appeared beneath St. John's Cathedral in London two days ago," Kate explained. "Infrared Satellites first caught it. The image that you're seeing is thanks to ground-penetrating radar."
"What do you want me to do about this?" the Doctor asked.
"We want you to take a look at it," Kate answered. "Our specialists can't get anywhere near it."
"Oh your specialists," the Doctor scoffed. "You don't know what you're doing."
"No, that's why we called you."
The Doctor put the tablet down. "Fine. I'll help you, if you help me."
"Let me look at your records. I know that you have one for every citizen. Let me prove to you that Clara Oswald exists."
Kate sighed. "Alright. But you'll see…"
She led him to a console on the side of the room. She logged in, and let the Doctor have access. He scanned through the files furiously. Doing search, after search, the worry in the pit of his stomach growing with each passing moment. When he came to the end of the database, he was horrified to find that Kate was right. Clara Oswald never existed, at least according to the UNIT files. But he had memories of her… and he wouldn't have memories of her if time had been rewritten. Hell, he wouldn't even be standing if she had been erased from existence. She had jumped into his timeline to save him from the Great Intelligence. She was real, the Doctor knew that she was real and once he solved the mystery of what was hiding underneath St. John's Cathedral, he was going to save his Clara.
Clara opened her eyes and found that she was inside a clear box. Okay then, she thought to herself. The manipulator wasn't from the Doctor. She tried to see through the glass but found that from her side, it was cloudy. She could see shapes moving, but she couldn't tell what they were. All she knew was that she was in trouble and she needed help. She reached into the pocket of her green coat, searching for her mobile. She let out a breath of relief when she felt it there. Clara pulled it out and dialled the Doctor. Her mobile rang and rang, but the Doctor didn't pick up. The phone rang straight to voicemail and Clara spoke.
"Doctor?" she began. "I don't know where you are, but I'm in trouble. I got a vortex manipulator delivered to my door and the note said that it was from you. It had coordinates and everything, oh what were they… three… double-u, twelve, twenty-seven… there was more but I can't remember what the numbers were."
Clara heard voices outside and felt as though she had to hurry. "Please," she continued in a whisper. "I'm scared. I don't know where I am and I don't know what to do. I need your help. Please find me…"
The voicemail clicked over and Clara ended the call. She immediately dialled a second number, hoping for a better chance at success. She waited until the caller on the other end picked up. "Danny?" she asked with relief. "Danny, it's Clara. Listen, I'm—"
"I'm sorry," Danny replied.
"For what?" Clara asked.
"I don't know any Clara's."
Clara laughed. "Danny be serious."
"I am being serious," he replied. "Now please, don't call this number again."
The line went dead, and that's when Clara felt all her hopes leave her. How could Danny not remember her? He had to remember her… why wouldn't he know who she was? There was only one explanation that made sense of Danny not knowing her and the Doctor not picking up when she called. She didn't exist. Maybe she had never existed, and if she had never existed, then perhaps the Doctor didn't survive Trenzelore the first time.
"Please…" Clara whispered, to no one in particular. "Please help me…"
She began to feel light-headed and darkness swam at the edges of her vision. She clawed onto consciousness, refusing to give up, but the darkness got the better of her and she found herself falling into the abyss.
The Doctor and Kate arrived at St. John's Cathedral. UNIT had cordoned it off but they were allowed right in. They took a spiral staircase down into the darkness and as they walked, the Doctor thought that he heard a voice calling for help. He faltered, knowing that voice. That voice belonged to Clara. How he could hear her was a matter for another time. What was most important was that he had heard her thoughts, whether telepathically between one another or relayed through the TARDIS, the Doctor didn't know which one, but he did know that Clara was alive, and in trouble. He eyed the darkness around him, there was no place for him to escape to, he would have to help Kate if he wanted to get his TARDIS back. They eventually came to the bottom of the darkness, and found themselves in an ancient Roman aqueduct.
"Well if this is what you wanted to show me Kate then you're wasting my time."
"There is a structure below these tunnels," she told him. "Scan with that sonic screwdriver of yours and you will see."
The Doctor rolled his eyes and took out his sonic. He scanned the floor below them and was discovered that once again, Kate was right. There was a huge structure hidden below, one that was familiar to him and yet surprising all the same. He put a new setting in the sonic and blasted it again. The stones shifted to reveal a technological shaft.
"What is that?" Kate asked.
"Our way in," the Doctor replied. "We're going to have to jump."
"Jump?" Osgood asked, taking a breath of her inhaler.
"No," Kate told her. "You stay here. Or better yet, go back to the surface. Tell Command that we've found a way in."
Osgood took another breath of her inhaler and vanished up the stairs that led up.
"Well Kate," the Doctor said as he put his sonic away. "Just you and I?"
"Yes," she confirmed. "After you Doctor."
They jumped down the shaft and fell. The Doctor flailed as he did so, wondering when he would ever hit bottom, and whether or not he would survive impact. The screams from Kate echoed behind him until a gravity pad caught them and lowered them gently to the ground. They seemed to be at a gateway of some sort.
"Well Doctor," Kate said rather breathlessly. "Shall we go ahead?"
"Ladies first this time."
Kate scowled at him, but did as she was told. The Doctor followed and he was instantly in awe by the sight before him. There were rows and rows of windows. Some were translucent, some were opaque and some were in between.
"What is this?" Kate asked.
The Doctor went to one of the translucent windows, ignoring the sudden buzzing in his pocket. He stared through, and saw a skeleton sitting on a chair. "These are tombs, why would somebody go through so much trouble to keep watch over the dead? The dead don't come back."
"Doctor…" Kate began. "You might want to reassess your assumption on that."
The Doctor turned and saw a flash of light. The skeleton that Kate had been staring at was gone, replaced by a Cyberman. The Doctor couldn't even begin to fathom how they had gotten below St. John's Cathedral, but the curiosity was overblown by fear.
"Kate," he began as he took her hand. "Run."
Together they ran back through the archway to the gravity pad. The Doctor pointed his sonic at it, and they began to move upward, faster and faster, to get away from the Cyberman. They arrived at the aqueduct and found it empty.
"Where is everyone?" Kate asked as she stepped off the gravity pad. "We need to evacuate the area."
"Evacuating the planet won't help." The Doctor said as he soniced the gravity pad once more. He locked it, making sure that the Cyberman or Cybermen wouldn't be able to use it as an escape as they had just done.
"What do we do?"
The Doctor ignored her. He pulled his mobile from his pocket and saw that he had one missed call from Clara. "Oh thank the stars," he muttered to himself as he dialled her back without bothering to look at the voicemail. The phone rang and rang. The Doctor's hopes were raised once when he heard her voice but it ended up just being her voicemail.
"Clara this is the Doctor," he began once the beep sounded. "I don't know where you are, but I know that you are in trouble. Trust me when I say that I am going to find you. I will always find you. So wherever you are, whatever danger you might be in, just hold on, do you hear me? Hold on and fight. Fight with every fibre of your being and know that I—"
The voicemail cut off at that point and the Doctor felt like an idiot. He always found himself saying something, only to be interrupted before he had a chance to complete the sentence. He knew now what it was that he needed to do. The Cybermen in London was secondary. Clara was his priority. She should have been his priority from the beginning.
The Doctor turned his attention to the voicemail and hit play. He listened to Clara's voice and felt more worried for her with every passing breath. She was somewhere dark, somewhere unknown, something scary. Every since the moon incident he had done his best to ensure that she wasn't scared, that he was always there for her. When the sun itself seemed to be bent on destroying all life on Earth he had extended his hand and promised to save her.
Clara had of course refused to be saved because that was so her, but it hadn't angered the Doctor, no not in the least. What she thought was her last act of bravery had endeared her even more in his two hearts, and after all the times that she had saved his life, he didn't think that that was possible. When the message got to the part about the coordinates, the Doctor trained his sonic on the phone, hoping that it's programming would be able to figure out where she was being held, but mid sentence, the ground began to shake.
"Doctor!" Kate cried. "We have to go."
"Just give me one moment," the Doctor insisted.
Kate grabbed his arm. "No. Now."
She pulled him, and the Doctor lost the grip on his mobile. It fell to the stone floor and shattered. He stared at it in despair, and despaired all the way back up to the surface. He felt as though he was in a daze. He knew that he was in the middle of a London street and that the world around him was shaking but all he could focus on was the fact that the one clue he had to Clara's whereabouts was gone.
"Doctor," Kate began again as she shook his arm. "Doctor what do we do?"
The Doctor looked up, and saw Cybermen storming out of St. John's Cathedral. They were in full-on invasion mode and the scene made him shudder. It was just like that day on Canary Warf, the day that had separated him from the last companion that he had allowed his two hearts to—
—no, he refused to let himself get distracted. He had to prioritize. He was the Doctor and that was what he did. First the planet needed saving, and then he could go and save Clara. The Doctor was just about to relay a plan of attack to Kate when he found the world around him vanishing in a flash of light.
Clara awoke to the sound of ringing. She knew that it was her mobile, and she instantly went to her pocket to try and find it, but instead found that she was no longer wearing her green coat. She looked around and saw that she was no longer in that box, but instead some sort of lab and at the end of it was something that she had hoped to never see again— a Cyberman. It seemed to be dormant, which was a good thing and Clara decided to use whatever time she had to try and escape. She went to the door, but found that it was locked shut and that there was no panel or handle on her side to open it.
She scanned the room, and saw what looked to be a computer terminal. She sat down at it, uncomfortably close to the Cyberman, and brought up the display screen. The words "world, wide, web" were spinning before her, and she wondered if she had stumbled on the Cybermen's equivalent of the internet. Whatever the terminology before her, Clara had an inkling that it was a database of some sort. She typed in the first thing that came to mind; the Rings of Akhaten.
It was the first place that the Doctor had taken her, and Clara saw the makeup of the system before her. Emboldened by the prospect of figuring out what was going on, Clara typed in Trenzelore. She was horrified to find that it was the resting place of the Doctor, but when she clicked on the Doctor she found that his date of death was also listed as October 1, 2011 and the location was Lake Silenco in Utah, USA. Clara knew that the Doctor couldn't have two deaths. So she typed in something a little more recent. The Bank of Karabraxos. There, thankfully, was mention of the heist so Clara knew that the Doctor was alive, or at least, that time hadn't been rewritten.
Then, Clara decided to type in her name and just like she had feared, nothing came up. She typed in her father, and he existed. She typed in her mother, and Danny and the Maitland children. They all existed, but when she typed in her name again, there was nothing.
"I've been erased…" she whispered. "How is that possible?"
Clara whirled around to see three Cybermen walking towards her. She got up from her chair and backed away.
"What do you want?" she asked, trying to sound as fearsome as she could.
"You are Clara Oswald."
"I'm not Clara Oswald," she lied, hoping to buy herself sometime. "Clara Oswald has never existed."
"That is not correct."
"Check the database," Clara pointed to the console. "You'll see."
One Cybermen went to check while the others kept advancing on her.
"Looks," she continued her voice raising a pitch. They were close now, so close that she could reach out and touch them, or vice versa, but Clara didn't want that to happen. "I don't know what you think you're doing, but I'm not the girl you're looking for and—"
A Cyberman reached out and grabbed her shoulder. Clara felt a jolt of electricity pass through her before her world went dark.
The Doctor opened his eyes, and found himself staring at a woman with dark hair and dressed in a Victorian outfit. He didn't know who she was, but the Doctor found himself not trusting the woman at all.
"Well now," she began in a low voice. "I suppose I should welcome you Doctor."
"We haven't had the pleasure of being introduced,"
She giggled. "You haven't. But I know you."
"I've been watching you," she stated. "You put on quite the show."
"Do I now?"
She nodded. "Oh yes. There was that bit with the cyborgs in London… nasty work there. Still can't figure out if he jumped or if you pushed him."
She smiled. "Rule one, the Doctor lies."
"Oh do I?"
"Oh yes," she assured him. "You lied when you went into the Dalek, and you lied in Sherwood. Your bit with the nightmares was good, I still can't believe you haven't figured out where your own nightmare came from."
"Why don't you enlighten me?"
She shook her head. "No… I'd rather reminisce. I did like your work at Karabraxos and the way that you took care of that Skovox Blitzer I was most impressed."
The Doctor scowled. "I don't suppose you were behind the intelligence on the Orient Express?"
"Oh no," she told him. "But I was watching all the same."
The Doctor narrowed his eyes. "What's your name?"
"You can call me Missy."
"And who are you?"
She smiled at him. "You know who I am."
The Doctor stood up and walked around her. There was something familiar about her, that much was certain, but the Doctor couldn't quite figure out who she was.
"You're not….the Master?"
"And call myself the Mistress?" Missy laughed. "How pedantic."
The Doctor crossed his arms. "Then are you some sort of extension of the Great Intelligence?"
"No. But you're getting closer to the endgame."
The Doctor clapped his hands together. "You're the Cyberplanner."
Missy smiled. "Well done."
"What do you want?"
"It's not what I want. It's what you want."
The Doctor didn't like the banter that was going on. "What I want?"
"What do you want Doctor?"
"I think you know what I want," the Doctor growled. "And I think you've taken it from me."
Missy grinned. "Clara."
"Yes Clara. Where is she?"
"Oh, she's around."
"You should be asking when," she paused and took note of the Doctor's surprised face. "Oh come on. You have all of time and space to look. If I gave you the specifics then it wouldn't be very fun to to watch. Would it?"
"I'm warning you, you're making me mad now, and man isn't something you want me to be."
"You're a good man," Missy whispered. "Good men don't get mad."
The Doctor glowered at Missy. "Ever since I regenerated I've been asking myself that very question… and I a good man? And if I am, what makes a man good."
"A good man has rules… and you have them."
The Doctor leaned close to Missy. "Funny you say that. I was told once that good men have too many rules, and I'm starting to agree."
"Tut, tut," Missy scoffed. "Such threats."
"How's this for a threat?" The Doctor grabbed her. "Where. Is. My. Clara?"
Missy pulled away from the Doctor. "You're Clara? She's never been your Clara. She's my Clara."
"Your Clara?" the Doctor asked. "How do you figure?"
"She was created by me," Missy explained. "I manipulated every moment of her life up to your meeting. That leaf on the wind wasn't a twist of fate. That was me. Her mother's death? Me again. The woman in the shop…well you can guess."
Missy just nodded.
"Why?" the Doctor asked.
"To bring you here," she told him. "To make you understand."
"That it is your time to go the Promised Land."
"Are you sure you're not the Master?" the Doctor asked. "He was obsessed with the Promise Land too… well he called it Utopia but it's the same difference."
"Oh really, I've already told you who I am."
"Yes and now you're going to tell me what I want to know," the Doctor pointed his sonic screwdriver at her.
"What are you going to do, assemble a cabinet at me?"
The Doctor put his sonic away. He hated that she was right, and he hated that despite his outward appearance, he still had the mentality of his previous three incarnations.
"Alright then," the Doctor said at last. "What do you want?"
"I want you to tell me what you want," Missy said. "Aside from Clara of course."
The Doctor blinked, and was surprised when Missy smiled.
"As I suspected. You want your people. You know that they are alive and well yet they are out of reach. You know that you trapped them in a bubble universe but are you really ready to go and find them? You trapped them on the brink of destruction, when their hate against the universe was at its most potent. Unleashing that back into the universe would be a dastardly event, don't you think?"
The sonic in his hand buzzed. "You want to know what I think?"
"I think you talk too much."
The Doctor couldn't even enjoy the look of surprise on Missy's face when he held up his sonic screwdriver. It resonated, and before Missy could do anything the TARDIS materialized around him. The Doctor put the shields up and was thankful when they worked. Missy banged on the door and kicked it several times, but she couldn't get in.
"Good girl," the Doctor whispered as the TARDIS hummed. "Now, let's find Clara."
She watched as the blue box materialized. She was still unsure on how she had gotten to the volcanic planet, the heat alone was going to drive her crazy, but she was prepared to do what was asked of her. The box opened, an a grey-haired man stepped out.
"Clara?" he asked.
She knew that he was speaking to her, and she was prepared. "Do I have your attention?" she asked, her voice cold and monotone.
"Yes. Yes you do."
"Are you surprised?" she asked, knowing that talking would keep him unbalanced.
"The fact that you were right."
The Doctor just blinked.
"You were right. All along you suspected. You knew. I was too perfect. Always there, always clever and always exactly what you needed."
"But you were too… infatuated with the mystery to see what I really was."
"And what are you?" he asked, a glimmer of the man she had been warned about coming through.
"A trick. A trap." Her tone was glib, like it was all a joke.
"Course for you," she said with a roll of her eyes.
"To what end?"
"This," She held up the key that he had given her. "You will never step inside your Tardis again."
"My name, is not Clara!" she shouted, angry that he kept calling her that. "Clara was a figment, a fake, a phoney. Does it bother you Doctor? Knowing that you've been duped?"
"Oh Clara… you have to be careful with that key." The Doctor warned. "There's a lot of time energy running through there. If you don't use it properly, it will kill you."
She flashed him half a smile. "Can't kill what is already dead."
He pulled out his sonic and scanned her. "Oh you're very much alive."
"Yes… but only because Miss wishes it. This is your end… and mine."
"It might be my end, but it can't be yours. You're supposed to go back and marry PE or have you forgotten that?" the Doctor asked. "Orson Pink is your descendent. Thought that I didn't notice… well I did and I must say, while it bothers me that you've chosen him over… over well the rest of humanity, I've got to let you know that your timeline is set."
"Time can be rewritten."
The Doctor shook his head. "Not your future."
She held the Tardis key out to him. "Goodbye."
The Doctor knew that she was going to absorb the key and he wasn't about to let that happen. "Clara, my Clara. I don't think you will"
He dove for her, and pulled her into a tight embrace. This incarnation was not about the hugging, but he did remember it, and he hoped that somewhere deep inside her soul, Clara would remember too.
For Clara, there was a battle raging within her. There was Clara, the Clara that had always existed, the Clara that had been scattered across all time and space, the one that did anything to save the Doctor; and there was the Cyber-Clara, the one that was determined to kill the Doctor.
-Let us go!- The Cyber-Clara cried. -What are you doing?-
-He's hugging us- Clara replied. –He's showing that he cares-
-But why would he care?-
-He cares because I'm his companion-
Cyber-Clara grimaced. –You think he loves you-
-He does… in his own way-
-Ha! He's a selfish, stubborn old man-
-You're right- Clara told the cyber-her. –He is selfish and he is stubborn, and my god he is old, older than me, but he was always like that and I've traveled with him anyways. He is a good man and I am not going to let you hurt him, now GET OUT OF MY HEAD!-
"Doctor!" Clara gasped as she wrapped her arms around him. "Doctor it's me."
"Clara!?" he asked as he looked her in the eye. "My Clara?"
"Your Clara," she assured.
"One-hundred percent?" he asked.
She nodded. "One-Hundred Percent. I have always been, and will always be, your Clara."
The Doctor grinned and hugged her again.
"Oof," she said as he squeezed a little too tight. "I could get used to this."
"Come on," the Doctor said as he took her by the hand and pulled her into the TARDIS. "This is it Clara, one of those moments."
"What moment?" she asked, trying to wrap her head around what was going on.
"The blackest day, the darkest hour … let's see what we're made of, you and I."
He put his hand on the lever of the console, and Clara, despite everything that had just happened to her, put her hands on top of his.
"Save the world?" she asked.
The Doctor grinned. "Save the world."
They pulled the lever down and the TARDIS whooshed into action.
Author's Note: So yeah… I apologize. I couldn't figure out how else to end this story, and at over 5k, I figured that it was time to wrap it up. I hope that you enjoyed it though, and I hope that you'll take the time to review it! I always love to read what readers think Later Days Whovians!