So this whole TARDIS-not-liking-Clara thing has had me interested since "The Rings of Akhaten", but I feel like I'm finally ready to actually write for Clara now. Exciting prospect, that. So without further ado, enjoy!

Dobby's Polka-Dotted Sock

Chapter One

He doesn't say anything about it, but he starts leaving the door unlocked whenever they go out. It doesn't make the slightest difference. Even if Clara's just nipping back in for a jacket because he's neglected to mention it's absolutely freezing out, the doors won't budge. Unless of course she's retrieving something he's requested; then they practically fly open under her touch since it's for him, she's realized.

"Your ship doesn't like me," she insists as he fiddles with the controls.

The Doctor looks at her, a bemused quirk to his lips. "Don't be ridiculous, Clara. The TARDIS—"

"Is a cat, I know," she finishes for him. "But if she's a cat, she's your cat."

"Well, yes," he nods and stops pressing buttons, turning around to lean on the console and study her. "I own her. I suppose she is my cat." He pats the console fondly, then lifts his gaze back to her. "So why would does that mean she doesn't like you?"

"I don't know," she returns. How can he expect her to figure it out when he's the thousand year-old alien? "Some cats just don't like people."

"Oh, come now, Clara, no need to insult her intelligence," he chides, and she rolls her eyes. "Actually, from her point of view, you humans are the cats."

"We are?" She echoes indignantly.

"Sure! Little tiny human living linearly until—bam!" She's ashamed to admit she jumps, and he gets that giddy grin on his face again. "All of time and space at your fingertips, something that you can't even comprehend, but she lives and breathes it." He's positively beaming with this knowledge, and she finds it hard not to grin back just a little. "So really, to her, you're like…strays."

"Strays," she repeats flatly, too stunned to even muster the proper outrage.

"Her word choice, not mine."

"Her word—never mind. But, I can't be the stray of a cat," she reasons quite brilliantly, smug as he pouts. "So then, what does that really make me?"

"To whom?" He asks clearly getting more than a bit frustrated at her word game.

"The TARDIS, of course."

"I don't know," he waves a hand in the air as if he's dismissing the subject altogether, adding, "a- a dog." She gapes at him and he pauses in his movement, swallowing somewhat nervously. "Cl—Clara?"

Abruptly, she spins on her heels and walks around the console, away from him.

"Clara!" He scrambles to follow her, trotting along beside her in an ironic twist as she circles, trying to get her to look at him. " Clara, please, what did I do wrong? Come on, at least a hint! Whatever it is, I'm sorry!"

She marches up three steps before whirling to face him, so that she can have the height advantage for once. "'Whatever it is'? You called me a dog!"

"No I—I mean, not me!" She crosses her arms and he runs a hand through his hair, causing the bangs to flop down over his forehead. "You asked me how the TARDIS sees you, and since you're determined she doesn't like you, I went with the logical response."

"Which was a dog because?" She prompts, still feeling incredibly affronted.

"Because the TARDIS is a cat—is like a cat."

"Yes, but I'm not your dog!"

He opens and shuts his mouth, eyes comically wide. Now he gets it. "No," he agrees in a softer, humbler tone. "No, you're not. Beginning to see how that was misconstrued, though." She merely nods once, and his nervousness almost turns to anxiety on the spot. "I am very sorry. Would you possibly consider forgiving me?"

It's almost impossible to leave him hanging for too long. So she smiles and hops off the stairs to join him again and his splits into a smile of his own. Satisfied the crisis has been averted, he returns to the control panel, and her grin fades. "What am I, then, to you? Just a mystery?"

"No," he disagrees, shaking his head before turning one more time to look her in the eye. "You are Clara Oswald. And that's far more than most people, eh?"

She can't think of what to say, both pleased and embarrassed at his words. A genius alien alive for centuries? He can't truly find her this fascinating.

"If it makes you feel any better, I'm not so high on the totem pole," he comments, glancing back at her once over his shoulder, in total lecture mode. "People and their pets—it's a symbiosis more than anything. I mean, the cats are really the ones in charge—have I taken you to New Earth?"

She shakes her head, amused as ever by his ramblings, and settles in on the steps to watch as he pilots them to their next destination. The likelihood that it will be New Earth, of course, is just as great as their finally turning up in Las Vegas.

As the familiar shaking and wheezing starts, she winds her arms tightly around a railing to keep upright, which naturally begins to rattle around in her hold as if it's loose.

So that's how it's going to be?

Feeling more than a bit ridiculous, Clara Oswald growls under her breath, just to let the TARDIS know she's onto her. The response is a low hiss from the Time Rotor, which the Doctor is at a loss to explain, so he fusses over it the entirety of their next trip, leaving her to explore Paris by herself.

Oh, that ship was good.

Ok, so this is really just a mini-series, some drably one-shots that pop into my head. Shouldn't be too many of these, but we'll see. I hope you enjoyed, thanks for reading and please review!