Title: Away
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing: 11/Clara
Rating: T
Type: Multi-chaptered, slightly slightly AU
Summary: "I won't let you fade away from me. Not this time, not ever." In which the Doctor finds Clara, and in the process, finds himself.

Author's Note: Hello all! This fan fic has been around for a while (as some of you may know) and today, I decided to revise and re-write some parts I didn't find quite right. The story is pretty much the same as I intended it to be, but the plot was formulated before the return of series 7, so it probably (most likely) won't follow the same storyline as the show's.

I am not English, nor have I ever been anywhere outside my country, so forgive me for the credibility (or lack thereof) of my facts. They don't teach us World History as thorough as they used to.

Warning: Horrible grammar ahead. English isn't my first language.
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue. I'm under-aged and I don't have a lawyer.

Away: Prologue

"If I do, will you come away with me?"

"Shortcut? Through there? I hate this place, don't you think it's creepy?"

"Nah," she breathes, a small mischievous grin forming on her lips. "I don't believe in ghosts."

"Well, you certainly won't be saying that once you come across one, now, would you?" Her friend yells from a distance away, her eyes squinted in the blinding light. "Get back here, we're wasting daylight!"

"Hush now, Nina, I'm exploring! You scaredy little wuss," the younger woman replies, her body bent over as she examines an aging tombstone to her right. "The shop'll still be there when I'm done! Don't get your knickers in a wad just because we're in a place full of dead people."

She sighs in an odd combination of exasperation and anxiousness, checking her watch every now and then in between glances at her adventurous friend.

"Nina, come look! This man's last name is Tiddle!" Clara calls out from deeper into the graveyard, her melodious laugh echoing in the somber necropolis.

"Ssh! Stop desecrating their names, Clara! The dead can hear," Nina warns, holding onto the strap of her shoulder bag, getting ready to leave. She thinks she sees Clara roll her eyes from where she was standing. "Please, we really do have to get going."

Clara turns to look at her companion and pouts. "Party pooper." Trodding the wilted grass, she makes it to Nina's side of the graveyard and crosses her arms over her chest in a child-like manner. "Happy?"

"Delighted, now come along! The cupcake shop closes in half an hour!" Nina exclaims, pulling on Clara's hand towards the exit.

"Cupcake schmupcake. One bite of my world-famous soufflé and your grandmother will have none of those tiny little peasant pastries."

"Oh, she'd have none of anything, considering how she would most likely die of food poisoning, God forbid. Remember what happened to Connor?"

"Don't use the Connor card on me! He didn't even die so your argument is pretty much invalid."

"'Invalid'? He had to be rushed to a hospital because he was vomiting so much he threw up everything he ate since the day before."

Clara narrows her eyes at her. "You're a nasty friend, poking at my baking skills like that. Let's see if you'd like it if I poke fun at your singing!" She quips before putting two fingers to her mouth and hailing for a cab.

"You do, all the time, and I have a very lovely singing voice, thank you very much," Nina replies, getting in the cab after her. "Bea's, please."

"Yes, miss."

London – April 1st, 2006.

The TARDIS crash lands inside the clockworks of Big Ben, snuggling between two giant cogs which may or may not have caused the irregular twitching of the second hand on the clock's exterior. Light steam coming off to the sides, the Doctor pulls the door open and nearly falls to his demise.

"Ah, now that would have been problematic."

Holding onto the sides of the door frame for support, he determinedly looks around him for a safe way down. Spotting a metal platform just below him, he rubs his palms together and sits on the edge of his ship, his long limbs struggling to step firmly onto not-so-safer grounds. "Easy does it, big guy, no need to be in such a hurry," he mutters to himself, heaving a sigh of relief when both his feet touch the width of the platform. Carefully sliding himself off the edge, his shoes clack with the metal, the sound of wood hitting steel reverberating along with the rhythmic tick-tock of the giant clock.

Realizing he's not too far up, he cracks a wide grin and adjusts his navy blue bowtie. "Something more challenging would have been exciting."

As he begins his trek down the clock, jumping onto platforms and sliding down ropes, it dawns on him that it's been a while since he last visited London. He knows why. He doesn't deny the reason. This place was too full of what-if's and what-could-have-been's and even with two hearts, he's had difficult bearing the loss of the two people he dearly loved.

Smacking his forehead repeatedly with his palm, he snaps out of it, blinking a couple of times before he continues his trip down the tower.

He was here, wasn't he? Running after Clara? Running and chasing and living, just like he used to love doing?

Amy had only said aloud what was true about his lifetime – 'the Doctor should never travel alone' – and she's absolutely right, he doesn't have to.

/to be continued