Prompt: during his next regeneration, the Doctor is in the TARDIS with Clara, his new companion. He had immediate post-regeneration trauma and experiences episodes of delirium, punctuated by moments of lucidity when the new Doctor is extremely hostile. Sensing Clara’s immediate danger, the TARDIS possesses her body in order to snap the Doctor out of it and help his transition to his latest body and personality.
Prompt from the beautiful justjosiehicks.
Note for readers: I imagine Clara as a younger brunette Catherine Tate, and the 12th Doctor as an angsty Gingerbatch (because he deserves to be ginger for once). Thank you so much! Sorry this took so long. I really hope you like it.
The Eleventh Doctor yelled aloud and clutched his side, bending double against the central column. Clara ran forward to help him, but he waved her aside, standing up with difficulty to face her.
“Clara. I just wanted to say- ugh- say thanks. And… good luck.” the Doctor winced, a pulse of yellow light filtering through the veins on his arm. “D-Did you ever find that fez?”
“Doctor? What’s happening?” Clara gasped.
“Time Lords ha- ugh- I-” the Doctor stepped back, clutching his chest. “Sorry, I can’t explain- I-” he looked up at Clara through his ancient eyes and smiled broadly. “Geronimo.”
His arms and face burst into gold flames, and his head lolled backwards, his mouth hanging open in a silent scream. Clara was thrown back. She hit her head hard onto the floor of the TARDIS, and her vision blurred before everything went black.
“Are you alright?”
Clara looked up. Her head was hot and heavy, but she could just about make out a figure stooped before her, holding out a hand. She took it gratefully and stood up, looking around. She turned back to the figure.
“Who are you? Where’s the Doctor?”
“I’m the Doctor.” the figure blinked. “But the real question is, where are we?” the figure leapt away from her, striding around the console. The TARDIS whined slightly.
Clara crept up to him. “You’re the Doctor?”
“Yes, didn’t you hear me?” the Doctor glared at her.
“Alright, calm down!” Clara frowned. “I’m just saying-”
“Just saying what?” the Doctor growled.
“You look different, is all.”
“Right.” the Doctor eyed her suspiciously, then returned to the TV on the console. “It says here that we’re over 15th Century France. Boring.” he flipped a lever and the column sprang to life.
“Boring?” Clara raised her eyebrows. “You’ve never said that before.”
The Doctor rounded on her, his eyes sharper than ever. “So?”
“I’m not the same man. I might be the Doctor, but I am completely different. Do you understand?!”
Clara growled right back: “Look, Doctor, if that’s really you, you wouldn’t be saying these things. Just snap out of it!”
The Doctor was about to say something – but then he froze in terror. He stared over Clara’s shoulder, his jaw hanging open, his dark eyes wide and afraid. “Master?”
Clara looked round – no-one there. She turned back to the Doctor. His eyes were glazed over, and he kept mouthing the word ‘master’ over and over again, staring at the space between Clara and the TARDIS doors. Clara gulped.
“Doctor, what’s wrong?”
The Doctor snapped out of his reverie, focussing again on Clara. He frowned. “Didn’t you see him?”
“The Master! He was right there!”
“There’s no-one there, Doctor.”
The Doctor grabbed Clara’s arms, staring at her. “You had to have seen him. He was there! Don’t you see?!” his nails dug into Clara’s skin, his dark eyes glaring wildly.
“Doctor! Let go-” Clara stared at her Doctor in horror.
Suddenly, the central column made a tremendous groan – the central column shone brightly, the console lifting up and a gold light filtering out of the heart. The Doctor and Clara whipped round.
“What’s happening?!” cried Clara.
The golden light diffused through the air, towards the two travellers. The Doctor released Clara, pushing her behind him to protect her, but the light just swerved round him. Clara inhaled deeply – and her eyes shone with a new golden brightness.
“What have you done?!” the Doctor yelled.
“Clara wasn’t strong enough.” Clara whispered. “I need to help you. I need to protect her. I need you.” she stepped forward and laid a hand on the Doctor’s arm, smiling up at him.
“TARDIS?” the Doctor whispered.
“I will help you.” Clara whispered.
The Doctor fell to his knees. The bow-tie looked ridiculous on his tall, muscular frame, the suspenders clashing with his (finally) ginger hair. He looked up at Clara through his dark, ancient eyes. He looked… like the Doctor.
“I’m sorry.” he whispered.
Clara’s golden eyes sparkled. “My Doctor.”