Hi all! Thank you very much for your interest in this crazy story. I hope you like this new chapter. As I said before, I don't have a beta reader anymore and English is not my first language so please, forgive my grammar errors. ;S


"Came on, who else would it be?" The patient turned a page of the newspaper as if nothing was happening. "I notice you have changed your face again, but who else would wear those clothes of..." The patient seemed to doubt "A magician? Besides..." He said, lowering the newspaper again and smirking. "I heard The Tardis landing about an hour ago. What the hell have you been doing?"

The Time Lord opened his mouth and closed it again. His eyebrows showed his disbelief. Finally, he couldn't help but laugh. It was weird to listen him laugh, but the patient joined in with another laugh.

"Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart... I think you're still just as presumptuous as ever." Said The Doctor. Despite the mockery of his tone, his gaze was tender.

"And I see I can't leave you alone for a moment. You look... horrible."


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CHAPTER 35: DON'T LEAVE ME TOO.

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The fork didn't stop moving around the dish. Clara held it taking nothing into her mouth. It has been a month since everything was over, but for her, it was as if an eternity had passed, second by second.

The Doctor had always told her that time healed everything. It wasn't true because every day was worse. The more she thought about it, the more obvious it became. He had never truly needed her. All she had been a convenience during one stage of his life. Deep inside tears poured in a torrent of grief, but outwardly her eyes remained dry and remote. "What a fool I am," She thought, wanting to get angry, but all she could feel was emptiness.

"Will you take a bite of salad?" John's tone showed a hint of worry as he spoke.

"I've already told you. I'm not hungry," Clara said as the fork dug into her salad.

The man watched as the girl jabbed with anger the contents of her plate. "The lettuce isn't to blame." He said with a chuckle before his voice became serious again. "Clara, you've lost weight in these last weeks, and that's not healthy."

The girl ignored his words and went to the kitchen to discard the food. She would not eat it, no matter how much he asked.

John pressed his elbow to the table, waiting, unsure what he should say. He knew how to cure all kinds of physical injuries, but had no idea how to help Clara overcome her psychological wounds, in fact, he was worried about her state of mind. "Clara. It has been a month. You need to… move on."

She snorted, tired. "I'm sick of everyone telling me what to do. And you are the least appropriate person for giving me lessons." Her lips murmured. She wasn't in the mood to deal with John, and she wasn't in the mood to deal with her situation either.

Clara didn't want to talk to anyone, to see anyone—to ... to have anyone see her like that, she had stopped taking calls from her family, even from the school.

It seemed that everyone could give her life lessons and that she had no right to feel frustrated. Well, she didn't give a shit what they thought. Everyone had given up trying to help her. All but one. John still remained at her side and she didn't know why.

"You don't understand what it feels like." Her eyes glistened with tears.

"You're right. I don't understand, maybe because you've been four weeks without wanting to talk about it." The man said as he crossed his arms. He was not going to give up easily.

Clara made a gesture of despair. "The Doctor was right: you're a cupcake-brain! You should have already caught the hint. Why the hell are you still here?"

John looked at her for a few seconds, not smiling. "Because you, like it or not, are still my patient." He stated.

She answered him with a snort. "For God's sake, cut the crap." Her anger was visible as she passed him, heading to her room. "You don't even practice as a doctor, UNIT fired you! So leave me alone and look for a job. It's obvious you need it!"

Clara slammed the door behind her and threw herself on the bed, squeezing her eyes shut as she buried her face into the pillow.

The last few weeks had been very hard for her and she was using John as a punching bag because he was the closest person. She felt a little guilty about it. "It's not fair," The girl told herself as her fingers slipped under the pillow. She pulled out a T-shirt. It was the last one The Doctor worn and still smelled like him. It was weird, but it comforted her. "Why? Why do you always have to run away?" She thought aloud, feeling like a broken toy forgotten on the shelf. Maybe her expectations were too high, after all, she was just human.

Two knocks at the door brought her out of her thoughts. She didn't reply, knowing he would enter anyway, and he did. The girl didn't glance at him, embarrassed.

"I'm sorry." She murmured. "I… I didn't mean it."

"Oh yes, you did." He said flatly.

Clara was unable to hide the way those words stabbed her heart. A chill ran down her spine as she realized that maybe she had gone too far. "John, please, don't leave me too." Her face pleaded for help.

The man glanced up, surprised by her sudden panic. "Clara. I'm not going anywhere." It was true. He was aware she was in a very vulnerable position and couldn't leave her alone, after everything she had been through. Not like that. John sat down next to her. "How much did you slept today?" His gaze fixed on hers. The circles under her eyes called his attention.

"I don't know." She whispered. "I can't close my eyes without thinking about him." Her arms hugged the t-shirt to her chest. "You can't show someone the wonders of the universe, and then, from one day to the next, leave him abandoned to a boring life."

Her body shivered again, and he rubbed her shoulder. "Clara, there is a moment in life where you must learn to appreciate what you have. You should feel lucky to have been able to travel to the stars. Nobody can say the same." He attempted to give her a half smile. "And be happy because everything ended well: The Doctor recovered the Tardis and his memories, and you save your life." Then, the tenderness of his eyes clouded by a resignation expression. "Life is unfair on most occasions, so we must live every day in the best way possible." She wondered who he was talking about. "Here, there are people who love you, a good job, and all your life ahead."

She nodded, a bit surprised by the maturity of his words. "You are right. I should feel lucky, but what I face is... emptiness," She looked down at her own hands. "I know the Doctor and I also was aware this would happen but didn't want to assume it, I wanted to believe it might not happen, God… What a fool I've been." She repeated ashamed.

"Why do you say that?"

"This was the closest I've been to facing death. That means he ... has left me here to protect me. To save me." She chuckled at that. "He's an idiot alien. Tomorrow may run me over a car." Her voice cracked but soon turned angry. "For heaven's sake, I almost die in my own flat!"

"Well, it's a common mistake. Even for humans. They fired me for the same reason." His gaze fixed on the wall above her head as if caught up in a thought. "Fired by my own mother. It's ironic."

She blinked puzzled. "Is Kate your mother?" Her eyes widened when he didn't deny it. "Now, I understand why she scolded you when she found out you almost die."

He nodded as she took his hand on hers. "Thanks for being here John." She exhaled, tired. "I would have liked to say goodbye. To say to him ... Having met him is the best thing that has happened in my life. But… He is the man who can't say goodbye. Doesn't like it."

"What makes you say he won't come back? Maybe, he just needs time."

"Time…" Those words echoed in her mind as she smiled with sadness. "The Doctor has a damn time machine. He could have returned even before he left,"

He patted the back of her hand before releasing her. "I'm sure he will come back. Eventually." Clara raised an eyebrow, he seemed convinced about it. "I'm not an alien but, like him, I'm a man, you know?"

"What… what do you mean?"

"Oh, come on, I'm not made of stone. Do you think I haven't seen how he looks at you? And… he cares about you so much, he'll realize that letting a wonderful girl like you go is a mistake."

Clara's cheeks blushed. "Are you flirting with me?"

"What?! No! Never!" He almost fell off the bed like a scalded cat. "The Doctor would throw me into an erupting volcano if I dared."

She smiled for the first time in a long time so he took advantage of her change of mood to regain his role. "How much can you sleep?" He had seen her exhausted, more than usual.

She bit her lower lip, didn't want him to worry more than necessary, but she wouldn't fool him forever. "I only sleep two hours at the most."

He jumped up. "Two hours? Why the hell didn't you tell me before? Do you know what are the consequences of not sleeping?!" He said almost shouting.

"Please, don't get angry... I don't want to sleep. I have nightmares. Horrible ones." He glared at her and waited for an explanation. "I dream he dies, and that's why he doesn't come back. I don't want to see that again."

He sighed and without a word left the room. Clara tightened her grip on the t-shirt between her hands, thinking she was going crazy. Maybe John was right; it was about time to move on.

The man came back with a glass of water. "Here." He offered it to her with two pills.

"What is it?"

"Sleeping pills. The lack of sleep weakens your body. It's a patch until we figure out something better." She was about to protest, but he kept talking "Don't worry, you won't dream anything. It will only leave you knocked out for a few hours, so you can recover a little. Agree?"

She looked at the hand with the pills. "Please, I don't want to be alone when I wake up." She almost begged.

"You won't. I promise."

It was enough for her; she seemed too tired to keep arguing. John saw how the pills took effect and covered her with the sheets. "Poor girl." He thought as he left the room heading to the kitchen.

The Doctor had asked him to take care of her, but it wasn't being easy. He sensed it would be a long night, so he picked up a cup and made himself a tea. "What the hell are you doing, Doctor?" He told to himself.

TO BE CONTINUED


Let me know what you think. And please, forgive the grammar errors because I don't have a beta-reader and English is not my first language. :S