Clara didn't scare easily- or so she told herself. Sun Gods, wifi aliens, ghosts, she had seen much during her short time with the Doctor, and overcame obstacles she never before dreamed of. Who else could say that they brought down a false God?

But the Doctor had been gone for at least half and hour, and she couldn't help the fear pulsating through her, seeming to control her motor movements as her fingers kept tapping against the table in front of her. He had left her with his easy grin and forehead kiss, with a promise that he'd be back before she could say jammy dodgers.

Well, she had been repeating the phrase incessantly in her mind, like a mantra or broken record, yet he still hadn't returned.

So when the door finally opened and she caught sight of his familiar form- obscured by shadows- she couldn't help but rush towards him, grabbing him by the scruff of the neck so she could haul him to her level, and hugging him tightly. He didn't react at first, which should have been her first indication that something was amiss, but eventually his arm raised, awkwardly patting her on the shoulder.

"So we're doing the hugging thing now?"

She laughs, albeit shakily, before standing back so she could properly look at him. One look at the metal contraption curving around the side of his features has her lips forming a comical, perfect 'o', and she can't help but take a step back.

"What the hell is that?" She demanded, now beginning to take in the almost imperceptible differences between the man before her and the usual giddy twelve-year old bouncing around like he was on a constant sugar rush. He wasn't smiling for one, and those green hues were glazed over, as though a layer of film had been placed in front of them.

"What?" He blinks, and the illusion is gone. He does grin now, and she allows herself to think that everything is okay. "Oh, that?" His fingers touch the metal, a languid shrug lifting his shoulders. "It's a mechanism for protection against the Cybermen."

Rule One; The Doctor lies. But she hadn't found that one out yet.

He steps forward now, fingertips ghosting over the side of her face where the metal would be if she had one, causing the breath to hitch in her throat. "We should get you one." He murmurs, breaking out into that familiar, toothy grin.

"I'd rather take my chances than wear that." She huffs, making him chuckle appreciatively.

She can't help but be hyper aware of the space- or lack of it- between them, and the fact that she has to angle her head backwards to be able to meet his gaze. His fingertips have moved from her cheek, and are now trailing beside her lips, forehead moving to rest against hers.

"Clara Oswald." He murmurs, and she has a feeling she should be paying attention to what he's saying, but the metal on his face is beginning to glow, radiating a white light that's rather distracting. "I think I…-" He exhales, and she feels his breath pooling against her lips, which are so close to his that if he just…

He's jerked away now, head snapping sideways as his foot connects with the door, closing it with such vigour that it nearly collapses on it's hinges. The sound makes her jump, but the way his expression has morphed practically freezes her to the spot. His features are the same- ridiculous chin, ruffled brunette locks- but there's such anger flaring behind his irises, and that sneer looks entirely out of place on his lips.

"But then again, how could I? I don't know you. I try to understand you, but you're impossible."

He's approaching her again, but this time is entirely different. Instead of the familiarity of the Doctor's gentle gaze, it's as though an entirely different person is sneering back at her, causing her to step back as he moved forward.

"They did this to you, didn't they?" She fights to keep her voice calm, hand slowly moving behind herself to try and scrabble around for something she could use. "The Cybermen?"

He rolls his eyes and laughs, a cruel mocking noise tainted with the not-Doctor's complete scorn for her. "That doesn't matter. Why can't you just tell me?" He moves like a flash, and suddenly her back is against the wall, and his hands are on either side of her, gaze practically boring into her, making her feel as though she is a foot tall.

"I don't know what you're talking about!" She tries to move, but he's an unshakable force, with his brilliant narrowed eyes never leaving hers.

This conversation feels so familiar; like some form of deja vu. But it can't be, she'd remember, right?

"Why don't you just tell me!" He's yelling now, the silver device blinking at such rapid rates she wonders if it is on the verge of explosion.

And then he blinks.

He has a brief senile moment of clarity which she can tell is genuine from the guilt shining in his eyes, the way his face contracts as he realizes what he's done. He attempts to take a step back, but instead stumbles, hitting the wall to their left with a soft thud. "Clara, I'm so-"

His apology is cut off when she pressed the device she had recovered (that looked a lot like a tazer) into the expanse of flesh below his ribcage so that he crumpled, his apology dying in his throat.

Clara stared down at his unconscious form, chest heaving with each ragged breath she took. Well, he wasn't going to be happy when he woke up.

She stepped over him towards the door, hesitating just as she was about to close it. If it wasn't for the contraption marring his face he would have looked so innocent lying there, barely lidded eyes, hand outstretched towards her.

"Sorry Doctor." When the door was only a fraction still open, she murmured. "Oh, and you should know that I think I love you too."

Then she locked the door, storing the key in her back pocket as she walked away.

Hope you liked; remember to R&R if you have time! :3

I had to physically restrain myself from adding a "BOOM BITCH" to the end...