Sorry for the hiatus guys! I've kinda fallen out of touch with my writing side and found this chapter really difficult...hopefully I'll get back into the swing of things.

"No, you're too short and bossy and your nose is all funny,"

That comment had been plaguing her mind for a while – she wasn't the type to dwell on her appearance, but her nose had always been the weakest link in her self confidence. Every time she saw her reflection the first thing her eyes were drawn to were her nose, then her face in general. She'd slowly pick apart her appearance – what if she wasn't pretty enough for him? What if he found someone better looking and simply dumped her back at home, right where she started? A million what if's overwhelmed her mind and she found herself genuinely worried at how long it was until he became tired of her.

Clara didn't mean to let her uncertainty show – but the Doctor must have seen a crack in her usual perky demeanour because one morning he appeared in the console room with a swish of his jacket and a flick of his screwdriver and promised to show her something truly incredible.

"Earth, 2345. All of nature that originally existed has been completely destroyed – apart from the beautiful coral reef down under. Multimillion pound project went into restoring that beauty to its former glory. To keep the money coming in, they offer tours. In a perfectly spherical glass sub." He flung open the doors of the TARDIS to reveal an underwater maze of rooms surrounded by glass. Clara literally gasped in delight – never before had she seen so many vibrant colours. Racing ahead of the Doctor, she followed the signs to the 'tours of the magic land!' – and hit a massive, winding, never ending queue.

Now, queuing had never been one of Clara's strong points – she liked things to be efficient and fast moving and a busy, sweaty line of people were neither of those two things.

However, her impatience was nothing compared to the Doctor's. He quite literally became a child – going on about nano vortex manipulators and the million other better things he could be doing with his time (people started giving them very disapproving looks so she placed her hand on his back to try and calm him down and unwittingly leant into him). She quickly caught herself, though, and detached herself fast, blushing slightly. He was too caught up in his manic edginess to notice a thing.

He visibly relaxed as they reached the front of the queue and finally boarded their vessel - the wait was completely worth it. As soon as they settled down and the doors sealed closed, it literally felt like it was only them in the world. The beauty of the outside world seemed like a fantastic display just for their benefit – but it wasn't, it was real. And, probably the most unbelievable thing of all - the Doctor too was wowed into silence. Clara felt a small stab of pride that her home planet could shut up even that madman.

"Alright," he said as they started to move smoothly out of the docking station. "Time for a small detour, I think." Glancing around them, he pointed the sonic at the small grey box in the back of the sphere. They immediately jerked off course, no longer following the trail of tour subs ahead of them.

"A detour?" she said quizzically, raising an eyebrow.

"You know how much I like the scenic route," he replied with a devilish grin.

He knew she had something on her mind – it was obvious. The way she constantly bit her lip, the way she fidgeted with her hair, twirling the strand around and around between her fingers. He didn't pressurise her, though. He knew she'd come out with it when she was ready.

He'd been prepared for some sort of dramatic revelation – a deep, dark secret perhaps. So when she finally spoke, it came as a big surprise.

"Do you think I'm pretty?"

Of course he thought – he knew - that she was pretty. He didn't even think she'd need to ask. It was just one of those things that everyone knew – Clara was pretty like the TARDIS was blue. Or bow ties were cool, or fezzes. She was most certainly pretty like the headless monks were most certainly headless, or Dorian was most certainly blue. Although no, not like Dorian. Not like a fat blue alien at all. She wouldn't take kindly to that at all – at least he didn't think so.

But the only thing his stupidly wired brain could formulate was "a fez, Clara. You're like a fez."

Panic began to set in as a taint of hurt clouded her eyes – he desperately tried to redeem himself- "no, no no no, that's not what I meant to say, I – well, I'm not sure..." he trailed off as she looked at him expectantly. "I, Clara..."

Giving up all attempts at forming coherent sentences he simply looked into her beautiful, somewhat confused eyes, and in a fit of manic uncertainty he leaned forwards and brushed his lips to hers.

"No, not like a fez. You're pretty, like a fez is cool. You're nothing like a fez, or Dorian," he babbled, pulling back slightly (her eyebrows almost disappeared into her hairline at that comment). "Or remotely like anyone at all. You are just you, Clara. And you are unmistakeably and absolutely perfect-"

He couldn't finish that sentence, because Clara yanked him forward by the lapels of his jacket and kissed him so fiercely he thought his hearts might actually run into overdrive and beat right out of his chest (although not really, because his exceptional Time Lord super biology would prevent any event of that bizarre nature from occurring. Not that it was even possible for the cardiac muscle to beat that powerfully. He didn't think). He drew back from the kiss slightly to pose that question to Clara, to which her only reply was "stop rambling, chin boy, and kiss me."

The Doctor always took his challenges seriously. All thoughts of fezzes and fat blue aliens completely dispersed and all he could possibly consider was the feeling of her lips moving in tandem with his. Clara's tongue brushed against his lips and the kiss deepened, one of his hands brushing through her silky hair while the other trailed down to the small of her back as he pressed her closer to her.

And he knew, of course, that Clara Oswald was nothing like the TARDIS, or a bow tie, or a fez, because she was like nothing he'd ever encountered before. She was incomparable, and she was utterly beautiful.