Disclaimer: I do not own Doctor Who
The Star Filled Waters
When I first learnt that my granddaughter had a boyfriend, I am sad to say I didn't believe her. Perhaps it was the caught-in-the-headlights look that she had in her big doe eyes, or the way she stuttered through her way through her explanation, but I didn't believe her.
But I had gone along with it, because Clara deserved a break from the constant nagging of her Aunt. She didn't need a boyfriend. She was doing quite well on her own if I did say so myself. Personally I would have preferred for her to not live on an estate, but she refused to accept the extra money I offered. She even had a job at a local school teaching English, something that she had claimed was influenced by my writing career. I couldn't help but feel proud about that, while we weren't connect by blood, we still shared a love of books.
"I'm sorry." Linda leaned forward slightly, not sounding sorry in the slightest. "What's this...boyfriends name again?"
Clara froze for a second, looking down and blinking rapidly before saying "John." in a squeaky voice.
"John?" Linda repeated in disbelief and I rolled my eyes.
"Leave the girl alone, Linda." I said sternly, giving Clara a fond smile, "I'm proud of you, darling."
"Thank you." Clara said with a small smirk, looking rather proud of herself.
Linda huffed slightly and put on a forced smile, "Good for you Clara. Now this...John, what does he do exactly?"
Clara let out a breath of air, "He's a doctor." She said quickly.
"Oh, a doctor." Linda repeated in disbelief.
"Yes." Clara said, setting the dishes around the table, only her eyes giving away the growing panic inside, "Not a doctor doctor, the other kind of doctor."
"Right." Linda said before smirking, "And I assume this, Doctor of yours is coming to dinner, right?"
Clara froze, looking straight ahead with a blank look in her eyes, one that I remembered getting on my face when my mind was a million miles away. After a few seconds she squeaked out a yes and ran back into the kitchen. Only I saw her grab the telephone on the way and dial madly.
"He doesn't exist." Linda said in a sing-song voice.
I huffed and raised my wine, the same kind I used to drink with my late husband, "So what if he is. Clara is independent."
"Gran, weren't you married by her age?" Linda said with a wrinkle of her nose.
I slowly lowered my wine as memories swam to my mind of a different life. Dancing and balloons and music. I gave a forced smile, "That was a different time my dear."
Linda had always been so hard on Clara. The sister of her father, who sat across from me, she had tried to take over after the death of Clara's mother, my own daughter. While Clara loved her aunt dearly, she grew weary of her constant need to find her a boyfriend.
I could hear Clara rambling to someone in the kitchen and I smiled to myself. Clara was my favorite. They say you don't choose favourites but she was mine. My daughter was dead, and my son had never married. Clara was my only grandchild and she was so beautiful and full of life. Much like me at a young age, she longed to see the world but was stuck here, completely stationary.
Of course later I would be proven wrong about many things.
"He's here!" Clara giggled, running out of the kitchen and towards the front door.
Linda raised both eyebrows in shock. "He's real?"
I myself was shocked. Clara was a wonderful girl but the word 'awkward' and 'stubborn' were often applied to her, and she had never shown much interest in finding a boyfriend.
Of course nothing would have prepared me for what she brought back through those doors.
I didn't look away like the others. I remembered a memory from way back in my past.
"Are you going to turn your back?"
I was never shy around men. Especially not this man. Clara clung to his arm proudly showing him off to her family, introducing him as 'The Doctor'. Something I should have guessed right away. Of course the Doctor would like Clara.
Part of me instantly worried for her. What sort of dangers would she be in? But a bigger part wished for nothing more than to go back in time to when I was younger and travel the stars, so I'd be a hypocrite for denying her that.
"Say Hello." Clara urged.
"Hello." I said with a sultry smirk, which used to sound better when my voice was much smoother and younger. He didn't recognize me, I didn't think he would. He shot me an award-winning grin and turned back to Clara and watched her with tender eyes. I shot up one eyebrow and quickly wondered if maybe the stories my granddaughter had woven about him being her boyfriend weren't complete fictional.
Of course he didn't stay long. Turning around he whispered something to Clara which made her turn bright red and quickly hurry him into the kitchen.
"Well." Linda breathed out, "That was...interesting."
While they had only been in the kitchen a few minutes I knew they had been gone much longer. Clara's face was dirty and her hair was mussed and there were bags under her eyes like she hadn't slept in several days.
She had returned alone, a shell-shocked look on her face and a turkey in her hand, which she placed at the table.
"Where's John?" Linda asked with a polite smile and Clara's father all but choked on his water.
Clara's face fell even further, "He's not coming."
Of course the rest of the dinner was filled with sympathy and pity that I could tell Clara didn't want. It wasn't what they thought, I knew that. They hadn't broken up, I doubted very much that they were even together. But something had happened, something terrible.
He had left her. For the same reason he had left me all those years ago, to save her.
But one look at the watery brown eyes and the way Clara hadn't even touched her food was enough for me to know that the Doctor had made a mistake. He wasn't saving her, not at all.
I changed the subject quickly, complaining about the christmas crackers that Linda had brought. They were depressing and pretentious and I enjoyed the ones with the jokes. The Doctor had always made special crackers with all sort of jokes, only half of which I had ever been able to understand. But I would always laugh, because it would make his face brighter and because I loved to laugh.
They reminded me of a happier time.
Clara looked at me with watery eyes, "Tell us a joke, Gran." She whispered, her voice thick with unshed tears, obviously not wanting to spoil their dinner. I could hear the heartbreak through it all the same.
We were, of course, interrupted again, and urged to tell a story about how I met my husband. They always loved it, even though I lied. I had to, because the truth would be too much for them to ever understand.
So instead I spoke of the Doctor. How beautiful he was by the water. I had to change my words. The Doctor was the most beautiful in his TARDIS, sailing his ship through the star filled waters, the captain of his own little universe.
"I wanted everything to stop." I said to Clara in a soft voice, showing that this was for her, and her only. "I wanted nothing to change ever again."
I didn't want to grow old. I wanted to stay young and travel with the Doctor forever, and I would have if given the chance.
"If he could just keep standing there so beautiful. Long time ago..."
I looked at her and smiled. Tears flowed freely from her eyes now and she threw her arms around me crying deeply. I joked about breaking, trying to lighten the mood and she let out a sobbed laugh.
I hugged her back, looking at the diamond ring on my now wrinkled hand. Now old, it had lost some of its shine but to me it was still as beautiful as the day I first got it. The day my later husband had gotten down on his knees and offered it to me with a slight stutter and a nervous sweat.
I heard the sound before Clara did. The sound of hope, and adventure, and all the things that I was far too old for now. It was time for someone else to have that adventure .
Clara heard it and ran out the door, pausing only to grab one of the christmas crackers with a smile. Her teary eyes now shown with something more than excitement: Love. I looked out the window and watched her run through the grass and into the TARDIS.
"What is up with that girl?" Linda asked, looking confused.
I grinned, gripping the usually cold key that I kept around my neck. It hummed with heat.
I stared at the TARDIS until it vanished from sight, wondering how long it would be until I saw my granddaughter again. Maybe never.
And I was alright with that.
Because she was truly happy in a way that I could never have been.
And for this one moment in time, holding the humming metal and listening to the sound of the universe echo through the flat, I was Amelia Pond once more.
A/N: I know I'm not the only one who had this theory. And if you look closely the ring on Clara's grandmother resembles the one we see on Amy at the end of the Episode. I just wanted to write this down cause it thought it was such a beautiful idea.
I've only seen the episode once so some of the details might be wrong. When I watch it more carefully I'll fix things. I made Linda Clara's aunt because I wasn't entirely sure who she was supposed to be.
Thank you for reading!