The Furry Companion
"No," the Doctor growled at her while Clara gave him the best puppy dog eyes she could muster. "Stop it with the eye-thing, Clara, it's not working this time. The answer is still no."
She pouted and him in response and lifted the small kitten in her arms to look at it. Clara had found the little thing hiding in a dirty corner, meowing loudly, basically screaming for help. It was so small and probably starving and Clara had determined that the kitten needed a home.
"We have so much space in the TARDIS, Doctor," she argued. "You won't even know it's there and I'm fairly certain the TARDIS will feed it and empty the cat toilet."
He scoffed at her in reply. "The TARDIS will vent the air out of the room or eject it into space. Besides, I've already got a dog."
"A robot dog," Clara corrected him.
"Same thing," he said and spun around on his heels, marching straight back towards the TARDIS.
Clara attempted to follow him when the kitten in her hands suddenly meowed again.
"Compliments won't get you anywhere, Peanut. But thanks anyway. I do like that coat, but what I really don't like is cat hair on it."
"Uhm," Clara stopped dead in her tracks, frowning at the Doctor's back, "excuse me, but who are you talking to?"
With a heavy sigh the Doctor turned back around. "Well, Peanut, obviously. He's very cheeky for his age, I have to give him that."
The Doctor rolled his eyes. "The cat. I speak cat."
"Right." She blew the air out between her lips. "So, can we keep him?"
Clara chuckled and granted him her best smile. "Doctor, please."
Peanut meowed in her arms.
The frown on the Doctor's face deepened and for a long moment he said nothing at all while he gaze wandered back and forth between her and the cat, but Clara could tell that his resistance was crumbling. Peanut obviously felt it, too, because he started to purr and nuzzle his hand against her palm.
"Fine," he spat and raised his index finger as a warning. "But at the first sign of cat hair on my clothes he gets evicted. It's just temporary until we find him a nice space shelter."
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," Clara uttered happily and closed the distance between the two of them before she pecked the Doctor's cheek. "He can sleep in my room, don't worry."
The Doctor buttoned up his favourite velvet coat and brushed the dust off one of the sleeves. It had been one hell of an adventure, but in the end they had prevented the reactor from going into overload and thus saved the entire city. For a brief moment Clara had thought they wouldn't make it out alive, but thanks to the Doctor's clever idea they had managed the situation after all and now they were on their way back to the TARDIS. Clara couldn't wait to kick off her shoes and sit down in a quiet corner with a book and their newest companion Peanut.
Then, to her horror, Clara spotted something on the Doctor's back and if he found it there, on his favourite coat, all hell would break loose. Carefully she sped up her pace to match the Doctor's and outstretched her arm, yet before she could reach him the Doctor turned around. Swiftly she drew back her hand.
"That was one close call, wasn't it?" he asked.
Clara nodded and just to be safe she took another step back. The Doctor couldn't know what she had been about to do, he couldn't know about his beloved velvet coat.
"You look a bit pale. Is everything alright?"
"Mh-mh," she hummed in response, nodding frantically. Do not attract his attention, she told herself.
The Doctor squinted his eyes at her in response as if he was already becoming suspicious and for a moment Clara was afraid that he had seen right through her. But then again, it was the Doctor.
"Should probably take you to a sunny planet some time soon. Humans needs sunlight," he reasoned. "Or was that plants?"
Clara chuckled as he turned back around and continued his stride towards the TARDIS. "Just saying that if you confuse me with a ficus I'm going to take that very personally."
It was now or never, Clara knew it, so she finally reached out to pluck the cat hair off his coat, but she couldn't quite grasp it and of course the Doctor had felt the touch and spun around once again.
"Was that you?" he asked her.
She shook her head. "No, uhm. I mean, what?"
"I thought there was something on my back," the Doctor explained and tried to look over his shoulder, but obviously couldn't see anything. Her hand was long gone. The cat hair, however, was still there. If he found out that their pet had been sleeping on his velvet coat, Peanut's stay in the TARDIS would come to a very abrupt end.
Once they had stepped inside the space ship Clara assumed that he would have forgotten about the incident, but to her horror the Doctor kept turning around, trying to see what was on his back.
"There is nothing there, Doctor, I promise," she told him, but couldn't help that her voice sounded a little nervous.
Then, to her horror, he proceeded to take off his coat. Clara opened her mouth to say something, to explain it to him, to tell him to not get mad, but only a moment later the Doctor held up the single, white cat hair.
"It was just once, I swear," Clara said immediately.
"What was just once?"
With a sigh she let her shoulders sink. "Peanut. I caught him napping on your coat," Clara admitted ruefully. "But I shooed him away, I promise. I took a lint roller to your coat, but I must have missed one hair."
The Doctor glowered at her so hard that for a moment Clara thought that his eyebrows would fall off. "Clara," he began calmly, "I told you that I would only take in the cat under certain conditions. One of which was that he would not get into the console room."
Clara rolled her eyes an him. "It's a cat. They love to do what they're not allowed to. Doctor, please-"
"He needs to go!"
"Please?" she begged him, widened her eyes a little because she knew what effect it had in him. His features softened instantly. "Peanut has been a very good cat apart from the one time he slept on your velvet coat. Please, he deserves another chance."
"I hate cats," he growled, but Clara knew that he had already given in.
She smiled at him. "No, you don't," she replied and patted him on the shoulder as she walked past the Doctor and further into the TARDIS to go looking for their pet.
The TARDIS was awfully quiet that morning and maybe Clara should have already grown suspicious of the fact that no hyperactive Time Lord had woken her up for once, but she wasn't going to complain about being dragged to a foreign planet before she had even had a decent cup of tea. After switching on the kettle in the kitchen her suspicion only grew when the Doctor still hadn't shown his face, so she decided to go looking for him.
The lights in the console room were dimmed as if the TARDIS itself was still asleep and Clara was careful not to make a noise when she walked across the room, afraid of waking the ship. It was only when she had reached the stairs that she saw the Doctor's outline sitting in his favourite armchair and his eyes were closed. With the intention of repaying him for all the times he had so rudely woken her up Clara marched up the stairs, but stopped once she saw the full picture. Clara had to suppress a chuckle.
The Doctor was sleeping peacefully in his armchair, the book he had been reading discarded on the coffee table next to him, but what astounded her most was that his velvet coat was draped over his lap like a blanket – and Peanut was lying on top of it. For a brief moment Clara considered the possibility that the cat had curled up there after the Doctor had already fallen asleep, but then she noticed his hand that was softly placed on the cat's soft fur. The Doctor, after hours of proclaiming how much of a nuisance Peanut's presence in the TARDIS was to him, had fallen asleep petting the cat. The pet was still purring softly.
Quietly Clara reached into her pocket to retrieve her phone and snapped a picture of it. The next time the Doctor threatened to abandon Peanut at the shelter she would have the perfect argument against that.