Oh my god guys! I'm actually crying right now like a total dork.
it's the last chapter of this and I just can't believe it. 300 + pages and over 74,000 words! I've never written so much in my life and its all because of you guys. your amazing support and words of encouragement literally changed my life. I know that sounds cheesy but it's true. I'd pretty much given up on my dream of writing books for a living but you all changed that. And for that I seriously cannot thank you all enough! Just love and hugs and cupcakes everywhere XD
Ok I'll stop rambling like a madwoman. I just have to say thank you and I love you to everyone who read, favorite, followed, or reviewed this story. You have my eternal gratitude.
So now without further ado, I give you the end.
The lights flickered and the engine whined. It sounded concerned, uneasy, afraid. The TARDIS didn't know what was happening. The hairs on Clara's arms stood on end as crackles of static electricity filled the space. It made Hazel whimper and clutch at her shirt. Clara kissed the top of her head, rubbing soothing circles on her back. She wanted to take Hazel and run, but there was nowhere to run to.
The Doctor spun around pulling his sonic screwdriver from inside his purple jacket. Confusion masked his face and fear colored his words. "We're in the middle of nowhere. There can't be anything else out this far."
"They can." Clara said softly.
He turned to her wide eyed. "You know what this is?"
The problem was she really didn't. It was a mess in her head, like trying to remember a dream after you've woken up. Flashes of the glass world and the things moving in the shadows of that cold, echoing place filled her mind.
"The shadows are coming." Clara whispered.
A second alarm blared to life cutting off his reply. A security breach. Something was coming in when nothing should be capable of breaking into the TARDIS. The static intensified. The pins-and-needles feeling began to hurt.
Suddenly shapes started to form around them. Inhuman and indefinable. Black, hazy creatures circled the living room. Clara tucked Hazel's head into her chest preventing her from seeing anything that was happening. It was the only protection she could offer. She needed to get Hazel out of there, she needed to do something. Her nightmares were coming to life.
Clara felt the Doctor's back against hers as they faced the creatures invading their home. His touch made her feel braver, calmer. She leveled her gaze at the shape directly in front of her.
"Get out of my home."
A crackling of electricity was the only response. She didn't know if the thing even could hear her. Hazel began to cry, trembling in Clara's arms. It pushed her past fear to anger.
"Do you know who I am?" the Doctor said, his voice dark and threatening.
"Yes." crackled an inhuman voice from every direction as if they spoke together.
Clara screamed when the shadows flung themselves forward. She tried to shield Hazel with her body just as the Doctor tried to shield her. His sonic didn't stop them. The creatures descended upon them and then Clara felt like she was falling.
"Hazel!" Clara cried.
Squeezing pressure forced her eyes closed while the world around her changed form. She refused to ever let go of her daughter. The Doctor's hands gripped her tight holding them together. No matter what happened they had to stay together.
The world righted itself but it wasn't the world they left. They stood in the center of a circular room covered in mirrors. Hazel was still in her arms, she'd gone silent in shock. Clara saw her own pale face reflected back at her. Except that wasn't all she saw in the glass. Ghost images flickered in the surface, reflections of things beyond this room. It teased and distorted perception.
They weren't alone in the room either. Tall, pale creatures in long white robes surrounded them. Their skin looked like candle wax and they were thin as skeletons. The creatures had no eyes, yet Clara knew they were watching her.
It took Clara a moment to recognize their shape. These were the shadows only they weren't shadows anymore. In this place they were solid.
"Watzul, it's been a very long time." said the Doctor evenly. He held Clara close against him, but kept his eyes on their captors.
"Time Lord." responded the beings as one. Even their voice had more substance here. The voice sounded polite, pleasant almost, which Clara didn't buy for a second. "It has indeed been a long time."
"Darling, why don't you introduce me to your friends." she said pointedly. Clara wanted to know what the hell was going on.
"These are the Watzul, the people of the void. They exist between time and between space."
"The space between spaces." intoned the voice.
The Doctor frowned, "Except they shouldn't be able to bleed into our reality. The walls between worlds are closed. I closed them."
The air shook as the Watzul rustled with anger at his words. "Yes, the Time Lords once controlled our movements. They ruled so they alone could move freely through the realities, leaving us to the void. Then you, last of the Time Lords, tried to close us off forever."
"Every reality would have died if didn't close the gaps." he said. "I had no choice."
"Everything has a choice, just as you choose to destroy your own kind. You killed our greatest enemies."
"Then why are we here?" Clara demanded. She could see the effect that Watzul's words were having on her husband. The Doctor's face went blank, his eyes vacant and cold.
"Because we believed the Time Lords died with you. Now you, their destroyer, have brought them back. And that we cannot allow. The Time Lords reign must end."
"If you touch a hair on my daughter's head then you will see exactly why the Daleks called me the Predator." the Doctor declared, his voice soft. "If you know me so well, then you know not to cross me."
The figures shifted moving closer. "Time Lord, we do not hurt the innocent. We are not like you."
The Doctor flinched.
"We only punish the guilty."
As one the Watzul darted forward ripping Clara away from him. She tried to fight. Hazel cried out, her little arms wrapping tightly around Clara's neck. It was no use. Watzul dragged her back holding her in their iron grasp. Hazel was pulled from her.
"Mama!" the little girl cried.
"It's ok. It'll be ok." Clara sobbed.
The creatures pushed the Doctor against one of the mirrors. The moment his skin made contact it began to flicker more rapidly. Scenes and people and events flashed past too quick to register. It was a blur of times and places.
"Let him go! Please!" Clara shouted. "What are you doing?"
"It has taken nearly all our energy to
enter this space. One lifetime frozen and reflected. And today we shall make it your lifetime. Time has no meaning here and here we can take away your time. Shatter it into a thousand pieces."
Clara could see the Doctor's growing panic. His eyes darted between her and Hazel. He tried to aim his sonic screwdriver only to have it wrenched from his grasp. A Watzul held him still while he struggled desperately. The others stepped back. They lined the wall beside Clara as if they were jurors watching a trial unfold.
"Please! Just let them go! Please!" the Doctor cried in tears of frustration.
One of the Watzul brought out a long metal club. It stepped up to the mirror and finally Clara understood.
Shatter. They said shatter. This was how it happened. This was how she reached the glass world. This was how she saved them.
The Watzul were stronger than her, but Clara new her plan would work. Because it already had. She was only competing the cycle. With one last glance at Hazel, Clara threw her head back while dropping her feet out from under her. Surprised by the sudden shift in weight the Watzul loosened its grasp.
Flinging herself forward Clara sprinted across the floor. The creature with the club swung at her but Clara dodged slipping under his arm. In a place where time didn't exist it was amazing how slow it seemed to move. The Doctor broke one of his arms free from the Watzul holding him. He saw what she was going to do and reached out to stop her.
Clara crashed into the glass. The images changed to her own life. The impact of her body shattered the glass sending spider web cracks across its surface. Clara felt it pulling her through. She could feel her timeline cracking.
As Clara dissolved into blue light she met the eyes of the love of all her lifetimes.
"Save her." she said and disappeared.
The Doctor could do nothing when his wife sacrificed herself. He couldn't shout. He couldn't scream. He couldn't even cry. Clara dissolved into the mirror with a brilliant flash of blue energy. The Watzul howled in shock and confusion. She'd taken away their only weapon. The portal had taken a lifetime and now it couldn't take his.
Hazel screamed. The Doctor found a strength he'd never known when he heard that sound. He'd lost his children before and he would never go through that again.
He wouldn't lose Hazel too.
Using their panic against them the Doctor kicked and punched his way free. He was the Oncoming Storm once again, the Time Lord Victorious, and nothing could stop him. Most of the Watzul were frozen in stunned amazement their eyeless faces following his movements.
"Dadda help!" his daughter cried reaching out to him.
The Doctor freed his sonic screwdriver from a Watzul's grasp and turned it on him. Hitting it with the highest setting the wave of sound sent the creature to the ground blood streaming from its ears and mouth. It stopped moving leaving a ringing silence.
"It seems this works on you here." the Doctor said. "Give me my daughter. It's over."
No one moved for a long moment.
"We shall meet again Time Lord." said the voice.
The pins-and-needles feeling returned along with a pressure which crushed his chest. He ran to Hazel as the world shifted again. Grabbing her just in time, the Watzul and the circle room vanished. The Doctor landed on his knees cradling Hazel.
They were in the living room. They were on the TARDIS. He let out a sob, kissing and hugging his daughter tightly. She was alive. The Doctor leaned back checking in a panic to see if Hazel was injured.
Her eyes which were just like Clara's looked up at him in confusion. "Where Mama?" she asked tearfully. "Where Mama?"
"I don't know baby. I don't -"
His breath caught in his throat. The Doctor did know. He knew exactly where Clara was. She was in the void. And if the Watzul could get out than he could get in. He could save her.
"Were going to get her back." He said scooping Hazel up and scrambling to his feet.
He ran to the console room. Cold air swirled around him. The light flashed blue. The TARDIS knew what he was planning and she was afraid. If they stayed too long in the void the ship would be drained. Then they'd all be dead.
The Doctor strapped Hazel into a chair. He flew to the console tower and staring typing in coordinates. "Trust me. We can do this." he told the ship.
The engines hummed in agreement. The ship wouldn't let him or Clara down and the Doctor knew it. Holding on as tightly as he could the Doctor pulled a lever sending them flying into the space between worlds. Sparks flew everywhere. The room shook violently. This broke the laws of nature but that's what Time Lords did best.
'If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
like being here'
'Wrapped in the warmth of you
loving every breath of you
still in my heart this moment
or it might burst'
Clara could hear it this time. It floated in the cold air, mixing with the mist. The last song she heard. No wonder it scared her that morning. It was in the background of every dream she had of here, she just hadn't realized.
It's so bizarre that Clara let out a hysterical giggle. The sound echoed out over the empty field of glass. Then she started to cry. Clara sunk to the ground ignoring the shards cutting into her skin. Blood ran in rivets staining her white dress red. She would never see her baby again. She would never kiss the Doctor or feel his touch again. She'd lost everything.
What will become of her now? Will she just exist in the non-place forever or will she fade away like a ghost? Clara knew she would go mad with grief long before then.
"Please." she sobbed, "Please."
Minutes or hours or days or years passed. She didn't know. All she could feel was the cold and the pain in her chest. She wanted to fade away. She wanted to be gone. She wanted to go home.
A ripping noise shattered the silence. It was deafening in the glass world. A blue light like electricity bloomed in the dark sky. Clara got to her feet staring in amazement as the TARDIS materialized before her.
Clara cried harder, relief overwhelming her. She sprinted to the phone box not carrying that her feet were being shredded by the glass. The doors flew open and there he was. The Doctor shouted her name reaching out for her.
"Clara! I can't hold us here much longer!" he cried tears streaming down his face as he grabbed her and pulled her inside.
The TARDIS took off immediately. Rocking like a ship in a storm. Clara and the Doctor collapsed onto the floor holding each other. Clara was shaking violently, clutching his shirt. She couldn't believe he was real.
"You found me." She said pressing her face into his neck.
"Always and forever." the Doctor whispered, rocking her in his arms.
"Mama! You here!" Hazel cried from her chair.
"Yeah baby." Clara laughed, "I'm right here."
The ship landed with a resounding thud and stopped moving. Clara and the Doctor pulled each other to their feet. They were unable to let go of one another and probably wouldn't be for a long time. Clara limped over to her daughter and unbuckled her. She kissed Hazel over and over, telling her how much she loved her.
"Love you too Mama, papa." Hazel said kissing her on the cheek.
The Doctor rested his forehead against Clara's temple. "Promise me you will never do that to me again." he whispered in a hoarse voice.
Clara placed a hand on his cheek softly. His expression was so raw it hurt. "I'll never leave you." She said.
The three of them stood in silence for a minute simply holding each other. They needed to comfort and reassurance that they were all still together. That they were alright.
Clara gasped when there was a loud knock on the door. She was afraid something else was going to attack them.
"Hey Doc! You in there?" called a familiar voice.
"We landed in Cardiff?" the Doctor breathed in disbelieve. Keeping a tight grip on Clara's hand he went over to the door and opened it.
Captain Jack Harkness stood on the other side. His eyebrows disappeared into his hairline when he saw them. The Doctor and Hazel dirty and disheveled, and Clara covered in blood.
"What the hell were you two doing?" Jack demanded.
Clara glanced at her husband. When he met her eyes the corners of his mouth turned up slowly. The Doctor started laughing and she couldn't stop herself from laughing too. Jack just stared at them in confusion.
"That," said the Doctor. "Is a really long story."