Title: Unfamiliar Friend
Fandom: Doctor Who
Characters: Clara, Twelfth Doctor
Spoilers: Deep Breath.
Summary: Everything about the Doctor has changed and Clara’s struggling to deal with it.
Word Count: 460
Disclaimer: I don’t own Doctor Who, or the characters. They belong to the BBC.
A/N: Dialogue is borrowed from the episode.
Clara knows he’s still the Doctor, he’s just not HER Doctor, not anymore, and it’s beyond disconcerting. She doesn’t know where she fits with this new version of her old friend, or even IF she fits. Come to that, she’s not at all sure that she even wants to. This Doctor is rude, dismissive, bad tempered and tactless. He seems to have neither time for, nor patience with, anyone he considers less important than himself. He’s not a pleasant person. Maybe it’s time she moved on, got back to her own life. The new Doctor probably wouldn’t even notice she was gone.
It takes a phone call from the Doctor’s former self to set her straight. He may not be HER Doctor, but he is still THE Doctor. He looks different, sounds different, IS different, but underneath all that he’s still the same, if she’d only just look deep enough. But he’s scared and confused and lost, because as hard as it is for her to deal with all the changes, it’s a thousand times harder for him. After being one man for over a thousand years, now his whole being has been… rewritten. If she doesn’t know who he is now, then neither does he, and he needs her to tell him. She’s a point of stability in his unstable existence, something familiar that he can hold on to while he finds his balance. He needs her and she’s been rejecting him, snubbing him, treating him with cold suspicion and pushing him away. How much must that have hurt him?
“You can't see me, can you? You look at me, and you can't see me. Have you any idea what that's like? I'm not on the phone, I'm right here, standing in front of you. Please, just, just see me.”
Oh yes, she hurt him. More than she can begin to comprehend. She wouldn’t want to be in his shoes, and right at this moment, she doesn’t like herself very much. But that can be fixed. All she has to do is look at him and really see him, see that even though he’s different now, everything of her old friend is still there, just as all his other past selves are still there too. They both have some adjusting to do, but it doesn’t have to be awkward.
She throws her arms around his neck.
“I don’t think that I’m a hugging person now,” he tells her, sounding dubious and uncertain.
“I’m not sure you get a vote,” she replies, holding on tight.
“Whatever you say.”
Well, that’s new. Their roles have somehow become reversed; he’s looking to her for guidance now instead of the other way around. That’s okay though; she’s a teacher.
She can do this.