AU!Series 9: What We Deserve
Warnings: dark themes, violence, torture, m/f, f/f & m/f/f relationships, explicit scenes.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. If I did…damn you, Moffat!
Summary: Wherein Clara hears voices in her head and the Doctor and the Mistress begin a new game.
A/N: I've posted this on my Tumblr but for ease of publishing, I thought I'd publish here too.
Clara stood in the graveyard, still staring up at the sky, eyes still straining for one last glance, one last flash of silver in the sunlight. But there was none.
Behind her, she could sense the Doctor and Missy, sense the pair standing close by, one in defeat, one in…but no. The Doctor hadn't triumphed, not this time. The triumph, if you could call it that, was Danny's.
Clara's eyes closed, holding back the bitter sting of tears. Oh, Danny…
The words she'd thrown at him before she knew he was Danny pricked her anew. No wonder he'd levelled his gun at her head. All this time, and he finally knew she'd lied to him for so long. It wasn't the way she'd wanted to tell him, it wasn't what she'd planned at all. Missy had seen to that.
Clara's fists clenched hard, as the pressure in her eyes built and built, but she refused to let it free. Not here, not now.
She felt a hand on her shoulder. There was no way it would be…her. No, she knew that hand, that grip. As affection-averse as he was, she recognised that hand.
"Hey," he murmured softly. "Clara…"
She didn't want to hear it. "Finished with your girlfriend yet?" she cut him off bitterly, her voice cold. His hand tightened on her shoulder.
"She's not my girlfriend," he replied curtly. "Look, Clara. You've just lost the man you love. You're angry, and devastated, and a thousand different messy, tearing emotions-"
"You're right," she murmured softly. "I am angry."
Her hand closed around the device in her pocket, cold and intricately moulded. The Doctor had thrown it away. She'd snatched it up without even thinking. But if it belonged to her, it had to be a weapon. If it was a weapon…
She swung to face the one who had torn her life apart. She turned her back on the Doctor, and raised her arm, looking at their enemy for the first time with open eyes. Before, she'd paid barely any attention, too focused on Danny to really care about what she'd thought was a robot. But now…
She looked so…ordinary, for it all. Despite the well-tailored Edwardian getup, she was ordinary. Beautiful in a hard, icy way, with long dark curls pinned up, a few loose strands dancing in the breeze. Spiked bracelets on her wrists. Red lipstick and blue-grey eye shadow. All so ordinary until she got to the eyes.
Those eyes…full of a kind of feral insanity, dancing with amusement and cruelty. Blue eyes not unlike the Doctor's, with the same calculating intellect behind them. But where the Doctor's differed, they were full of warmth and sparkling curiosity, even as apparently phobic about touch and physical affection as he was. But hers…there was no warmth, no curiosity, just icy indifference and contempt. She'd judged the universe around her and found it wanting. No humanity, no mercy.
Just power and insanity and lingering pain. They almost sucked Clara in, stealing her breath, as used as she'd got used to reading the Doctor's eyes, hypnotising her effortlessly. She was watching her intently, her gaze as scrutinising as Clara's own. Judging her, almost daring her. The device in her hand trembled, but she didn't lower it.
"Clara…" he breathed, pleadingly. "Don't do this. Don't become this."
"Why, because she's your friend?" she demanded angrily, her other fist shaking violently. "Because she's a Time Lady?"
She sensed him glance at her, and then at Missy, obviously shaken and uncertain what to do. Clara knew he had the strength to disarm her, but that just wasn't his style.
The Mistress had been silent throughout Clara's words, but her eyes crinkled at the corners as her mouth lifted into a sly, triumphant smile. "Because I know where Gallifrey is," she declared, her voice ringing across the graveyard. "Because, if you kill me, Clara, you will destroy any chance of the Doctor finding home. Are you really that cruel?"
"Maybe I am," Clara replied forcefully. Missy's lips quirked sardonically, as her eyes glinted in the newly revealed sunlight.
"No, you're not," the Doctor interjected forcefully, putting himself squarely between Clara and Missy. His eyes were fierce as he stared down at her, his eyebrows slanted downwards in an angry rictus. Clara looked up at him defiantly. "This is not you."
"I don't know who I am anymore," she confessed quietly, the Doctor seemingly turned to stone between Clara and the Mistress.
"We could go together," Missy suddenly spoke, as the Doctor spun to face her. "You and me, just like the old days."
"You'd be clapped in irons," he replied, clearly incredulous. Clara watched them, dispassionately.
"If you like," Missy said.
"Doctor," Clara began, just as quiet and firm as the woman standing on the other side of the Doctor. "If you have ever let this creature live, then everything that happened today is on you, all of it, on you. And you're not going to let her live again. Now move aside."
"NO!" the Doctor snapped, making Clara jump. It shocked her as the words she'd just spoken registered, breaking through her grief and rage. "Yes, I have let her live before. But just many times, I left her to die. No, I never pulled the trigger, but I believed her dead so many times. And maybe that makes me a coward…"
"Maybe it does," she interjected, but her hand wavered. The Doctor's eyes darted to it, and he sighed.
"Better a coward. I am not a god, Clara, and neither are you. You don't possess the right to judge me, and you don't have the right to take her life, not now. She's insane, Clara, always has been.
"Oh, hark who's talking," Missy scoffed on the other side of the Doctor. He glared at her for a moment, as she raised her hands in mock-surrender and stepped back. He turned back to Clara entreatingly.
"It wasn't her fault, and it doesn't justify her crimes. But she surrendered. Clara…Danny would not want this," he finished. "He was a soldier, he knew when it is necessary to kill and not to kill."
Clara's hand finally lowered as tears began to trickle down her cheek. "Damn you," she choked. "Damn you, Doctor."
He held out his hand for the device, and she let him have it passively, eyes still fixed on Missy. The other woman did not smile again, or say a word, just held her eyes on Clara almost pityingly. It made Clara want to be sick.
Her stomach lurched for real as she suddenly heard a strange singing in her head, ghostly and sorrowful. Her eyes widened and she tore them away from Missy's gaze, her head aching. She needed to get away.
Without another word, without looking at the two Time Lords, Clara turned and walked away, towards the Tardis.
The Doctor watched her go. It had never thought it possible for two hearts to break so many times and still remain intact. They had, many times over the millennia of his existence. They did again, in that moment, watching Clara walk away, broken and devastated. He didn't know if the pieces were fixable, and if they were, what form they would take.
"Well-played, darling, well-played," Missy's silken Scottish accents grated on his ears, just then. He swung to face her, slipping her device into his pocket as he walked towards her menacingly.
"I didn't do it for you," he snarled. Her smile only grew.
"Seriously? Oh, Doctor," she whispered, stepping close to him, not in the least bit intimidated by his rage. "To save her soul? Oh what a liar you are. Her soul was lost long ago. She is as capable of killing me as you are not. And who, my dear, will save yours? So many lies, so many deceptions. So many judgements. And you claim you're not a god."
The Doctor fought to ignore the comforting heat of her down his front. Being around humans for so many years, he'd grown accustomed to the scorching heat of their bodies in contrast to the coolness of his own. He'd forgotten the soft warmth of his own kind. Of her…
"I spared you for one reason. You surrendered," he growled. "I don't know why, but if you're trying to manipulate me, it will fail. We will find Gallifrey, and you will face justice for what you did here. I won't let you drag me or Clara down into your insane little world."
"Oh darling," Missy chuckled derisively, as she turned and led the way to the Tardis. The Doctor was relieved to see that Clara was not present. His old girl gave a comforting hum in his mind as he entered, and he hoped she would take care of his Impossible Girl for now. He had other things to attend to.
He was pulled from his rumination by the blaring of music from the console. The strident, aggressive chords grated on his ears for a moment, before he recognised the song. Highway to Hell by ACDC.
"Have you quite finished appropriating my Tardis!?" he snapped tersely, striding over and slapping her hands away from his console. "I see your penchant for playing your own internal soundtrack hasn't changed."
"And I see your taste in music hasn't either," she retorted. He knew he'd probably liked ACDC in a past body, but this one didn't. And her sarcasm wasn't helping his exceedingly frayed temper. "But it is appropriate, don't you think?" she added, guessing his own thoughts.
He grabbed her, temper finally gone, pressing her back against the Tardis console. She smiled up at him, teeth bared wildly, her eyes dancing with glee.
"Ooh Doctor," she moaned seductively. "I didn't realise this body enjoyed a bit of rough and tumble. How titillating."
He wasn't sure which one of them she was referring to, but he wasn't going to be lulled by that look in her eye. "Stop this now," he snarled, enunciating each word as clearly as he could, so she could be in doubt of what he meant. Her smile just grew wider.
"Oh my darling," she sighed. "I will help you find Gallifrey, but as for the rest…we're just getting started."
Their eyes locked, each glinting with a challenge as they fought for dominance, as they always had, as they always would.
The Doctor broke away first, and Missy's mocking laughter followed him down the corridor.
To be continued…