So... we meet again...
I feel like I should mention I got some extra help (editing) from my good, and slightly creepy, friend (if you can call it that) ThisUserOverHere. No, I'm not referring to one of my personalities... You can go check out their profile, I'm not crazy.
Now, as promised, the last chapter to this story that took almost a year to finish because I am a lazy piece of sh-
Chapter 11: Only a Memory
Her head was pounding, her lungs burning. It was quiet, the smell of ash and dust hung heavy in the warm air. Every part of her was sore and complained against the tiniest movement. She cracked open her eyes, grimacing as they stung, feeling like she had cried tears of sand and gravel. She struggled to focus on the dark figure crouched beside her. Slowly, the figure took shape as her vision cleared.
She tried speaking, but only managed a nasty cough, throat raw from the smoke. The figure tensed, then turned around.
"That was stupid stunt you pulled there," the Doctor said sternly, though concern etched his features. "Running into the smoke like that, you could have suffocated."
"But I didn't," she managed hoarsely.
"Yeah," he scoffed, "because the ceiling almost crushed you." He glared at her as she pushed herself up onto her elbows. "Good thing I pushed you out of the way then. You're lucky I came back."
"And why did you come back?" She coughed again as she got up on shaking legs. "You could have taken off, it's what you've been wanting this whole time, isn't it?"
He stood up next to her, eyes searching hers. He sighed. "I had to make sure you were alright."
She gave a small smile, "I am, thanks to you. Now, go on. Get in your box and," she took a breath, "go have another adventure." She gave him one last smile before turning away, breaking their brief eye contact.
"Our last hurrah," he said quietly.
She stopped, her heart dropping like a stone. Of course. She kept her back to him, trying to find the courage to face him.
"Lioma, Dawlscar," he formed each word carefully, thinking it over. "That's the problem with living... indefinitely. Somewhere down the line, you start losing yourself bit by bit, forgetting who you are, who you once were." She swallowed, waiting for him to continue. "We sometimes have to remind ourselves who we are." He remained quiet for a moment before continuing, "Even a simple anagram scratched into a favourite book can act as a reminder."
Clara turned to him, tears threatening to spill when she saw the glisten in his eyes.
"Gotcha," he whispered eliciting a smile from her. He frowned, "You're doing it again."
"The sad smile. It's like you're malfunctioning."
She tried to stifle her laugh, tears finally rolling down her cheeks. Malfunctioning indeed.
"Clara, please. Don't be lasagne," he grinned and she laughed.
"Oh, shut up you old stick insect," she mumbled.
He pointed at her, "Right, that wasn't even funny. That was bantering, I am totally against bantering!" He laughed and she joined in, but it soon died away. "Clara, I'm sorry."
"For what?" She frowned, genuinely not knowing why he was apologising. "What happened, it wasn't your fault. I never thought it would turn out this way but," she racked her brain for the right words. "What happened, happened. We can't change that, and I'm fine with that." She broke eye contact, "I'm going back to Gallifrey, the long way round. And until then, I'll be doing what I've done for quite some time; save people."
"You'd make a mighty fine Doctor," he said quietly. "Well," he began, faking a cheerful demeanour. "I mean, it's not like I'm never going to see you again."
"It is? I mean, you're going to come around for dinner or something aren't you." He frowned, "Ah, or you know, I could pop by. Seeing as you live in a diner," his grin faltered. "Do, do you still do that? Do you still have dinner with people?" He eyed her curiously.
"Of course, why wouldn't I?"
"Don't know, you might find it boring."
"Is it boring?"
He laughed, "I have no idea." They looked at each other, exchanging last smiles. Sad smiles. He bowed his head, "To the last hurrah."
"The last hurrah," she whispered.
"So, he knew it was you?" Me asked while flipping levers on the console.
"Yeah, he figured it out." Clara walked up to the bright console, fiddling with a knob.
"Or," Me began, "that neural block is failing." She glanced at Clara. "And that's not really a good thing."
Clara sighed deeply. "Who's to say it's such a bad thing?"
She held up her hands. "Fine, alright. Just, don't remind me." She started punching in coordinates, trying to avoid Me's eyes. "He won't remember this anyway. Only that he helped the oppressed to topple their cruel regime. The rest will just be… a memory."
"How sure are you that he'll forget?"
Clara gripped the dematerialization lever tightly, speaking softly, "Because he forgot all the other times."
*hides behind laptop* Still here are we?
Anyway, that's it. Please review and tell me what you think. And thanks to everyone who reviewed/fav'd/followed this story so far, it was a horrible pleasure writing it :)
But now, Imma take a break, so see you whenever.