With a click the kettle finished boiling. Clara poured the two mugs of tea, adding seven or eight teaspoons of sugar to the Doctor's as per his liking. Humming softly to herself she carried them both back down the hall. His room had actually stayed in the same place, for once- usually the TARDIS liked to mess with her by moving things around on her when she wasn't looking, but perhaps it sensed that this time, she had its owners best interests particularly in mind.
Clara pushed open the door with her foot. She set her mug down on the desk, then carefully passed the Doctor his. "Here," she said. She winced. "Careful-"
"Sorry." The Doctor steadied his hand and managed to avoid spilling any of the contents. "Thanks."
"Don't mention it." Clara sat down on the bed beside him, drawing the covers more carefully round him in a protective manner. "I'm looking after you today, I told you."
He rolled his eyes. "Clara, I told you, I'm completely-"
He trailed off, his words interrupted by a titanic sneeze that caused him to drop the mug by accident, spilling tea all over the carpet. "Fine," he finished lamely. "The TARDIS'll get that," he added, sheepishly waving a hand at the spilt tea that was now slowly seeping into the flooring.
"That settles it," Clara said, picking up the mug and setting it over beside hers on the desk. "We're staying here today."
The Doctor made a face. "But I want to go out," he whined pathetically. "I was going to take you to Pyrovilia. The whole planet's like one big volcano. We were going to roast marshmallows-"
"You're staying here," Clara repeated, in the same stern manner she'd take with Angie and Artie when they were… well, when they were being themselves, basically. "You're sick, and you need to rest."
"I'm not sick," he protested. "And I'm not staying in bed."
Clara raised her eyebrows. All evidence around him was to the contrary. She had arrived that day on the TARDIS to find her Time Lord friend in a thoroughly miserable state, coughing and retching in a wholly disgusting manner, looking pale and worn and a lot more like his actual age than the boyish bundle of fun he usually was. Clara had seen the Maitland children pull enough sickies to know when someone was feigning illness. The Doctor clearly wasn't. Ignoring his complaints that he was fine and that she needed to stop fretting, she'd led him straight back to bed, removed his jacket and bowtie and ordered him to stay there whilst she made them both tea. He now sat there in a heap of tangled sheets and discarded tissues looking thoroughly pitiful, not at all his usual vivacious self.
"Time Lords don't get sick," he insisted as her eyebrows remained sceptically aloft. "Our bodies kill germs naturally."
"Maybe the ones on Gallifrey," Clara said. "Obviously not all the ones on Earth."
He shook his head, lapsing into a shiver midway through. "I've been coming to Earth for c-centuries. I was here when the Black Death was about, I got through that alright. I'm probably just hungover or something."
"You don't drink," she pointed out.
"Well, I don't get sick either. At least the former could conceivably have happened by accident."
Clara sighed in exasperation. "Well, you look sick to me. And I'm the boss, which means you're staying in bed."
He groaned. "But I'm fine, Clara." Unfortunately for him, his cold or flu or whatever it was he had was affecting his pronunciation- somehow her name ended up as "Cwara" by the time it left his lips.
"You're not fine." The pillows behind his head were getting crumpled. She fluffed them up for him before she continued. "Okay, you're going to take a nap now."
He rolled his eyes again, though they were too bleary to make his gesture look too casual. "Time Lords don't do that either."
"Well, this one's going to." She coaxed him into lying down, and pulled the covers further up gently.
"Just for a few hours," he conceded. "But no more."
He closed his eyes slowly. She sat perched on the edge of the bed for a few minutes, watching him relax. Tenderly she brushed back a few strands of hair from his face. He even looked tense when he was sleeping. The Doctor always seemed to look tense, some days more than others but always at least partially. He worried about things more than he let on, and even when he was in a good mood she sensed he was never entirely comfortable. Clara had given up trying to figure all of him out, but she'd like to know what bothered him so much. At least if she knew she could try and help, if he'd only let her.
Eventually, once she was absolutely sure he was asleep, she got up cautiously and made her way towards the door. She could tidy the kitchen up, she thought, as her hand reached for the handle. It had been a bit of a mess of medication packets when she'd arrived. And he'd had the cheek to say he wasn't sick-
"Clara." Huh. So he was still awake. She turned back to find him still lying where she'd left him with his eyes closed.
"Yes?" she asked tentatively.
"I can't sleep."
Clara sighed. "Why not?"
"I just can't."
She made her way back over to him. "You look really tired, though," she said.
"I am really tired." He was lying just as she'd left him, but with a somewhat grumpier expression on his face. "But I can't get to sleep. I think I might have forgotten how."
Clara sighed once more. She looked around for inspiration, and she spotted something on the nightstand. "Would you like me to read to you?" she asked tentatively.
He made a sound somewhere between exasperation and amusement. "You don't even know what I'm reading."
"Sure I do," she lied, reaching out for the book on the nightstand. "You're always talking about…" She looked at the cover and blenched. "Mein Kampf?"
"Oh, that." He raised his head to look at her, seeming entertained by the expression on her face. "I was just using that to lean on to write something. No, I'm not actually reading anything right now, actually."
He lowered his head back down. Clara ran a hand through his hair softly in what she hoped was a comforting manner. "When was the last time you slept?"
The Doctor thought for a moment. "Six… seven months ago, maybe? In my time, that is." He shook his head dismissively. "I don't like sleeping. It's dull and it wastes time."
"It's not a waste of time if it makes you feel better," Clara pointed out. "Alright," she compromised, "even if you don't sleep, just rest. Stay in bed for a bit."
He considered. "But I'll be bored," he whined.
Clara thought for a moment. An impulse took hold of her, and she kicked off her shoes. "Budge over, then." She slipped under the covers beside him. She felt him start with surprise, and he raised his head to look at her, expression pleased but oddly reluctant. "Clara… you'll catch my cold…"
She grinned up at him. "So you admit you're sick, then? Oh, I've probably had it already. You look like you could do with a cuddle, anyway. Come on, I won't bite."
The Doctor considered for a brief moment. After some hesitation he slipped his arm round her and drew her closer to him. She tucked her head in against him neatly. He felt cold to her, and she wrapped her arms round him tightly, hoping her body heat could warm him up. "This is nice," she said after a moment. "Nicer than playing nurse was, anyway."
He stroked her brown hair lightly. "I'm so lucky to have you, Clara Oswald."
She blushed. She'd never liked her name, growing up, but listening to him say it made her feel entirely different about it. The way he caressed the syllables carefully, the loving intonation in his voice, made her feel so wonderfully special. Even if he did pronounce the Ls in her name as Ws through his blocked-up airways.
"I'm so lucky to have you too, Doctor," she said, voice muffled slightly against his chest.
She felt him kiss her forehead lightly. Clara looked up and into his eyes slowly. She felt suddenly so very close to him, and very aware of how perfectly her body seemed to nestle against his. The next kiss was on her lips.
Clara was too stunned for a moment to do anything. His lips felt a little dry from his ailment, but were sweetly soft and tender, and without thinking she allowed them to gently part hers as he slipped a hand to the nape of her neck to support her head. His other arm pulled her nearer to him. Her mind caught up with the situation, and she gave in, letting him draw her in and relaxing her body against his. She allowed her hands to wander up into his hair, letting her fingers trail through it. Her heart felt as if it might burst with elation.
Then suddenly it was over, as he pulled back just a little so their lips were no longer in contact. "What was that for?" Clara asked.
He shrugged and smiled sheepishly. "I don't know. Does there need to be reason?"
In her mind, there did not, but her curiosity was burning. "We don't snog," she pointed out. "That's not something we do together."
His smile became shyer, adorably so when accompanied by his hair that she'd ruffled up nicely. Now there really wasn't any tension in his face at all. "Well, maybe it should be."
He rested his forehead against hers. Unable to help it, Clara began to smile as well. "Alright. Maybe it should be."
This time she initiated the contact. They kissed tenderly, modestly, neither really sure how far yet they could push it, and both happy to learn that in time. When they broke apart for a second time, they were both grinning embarrassedly. "Okay," Clara said gently. "You still need to rest, and I think I might be getting you just a bit too excited."
He rolled his eyes. "If you say so." But he did allow them to close, and sighed contentedly as she snuggled in closer to him. "If this is staying in bed," he mused, "maybe I should do it more often."
Clara smiled to herself. "Maybe we will, then."
Maybe they would.