"We're going to Idian 6, which happens to be one of the most beautiful planets in the universe! Its sky is a beautiful bright white, and the people are known for being the most hospitable. Every year, they hold a festival to celebrate the mixing of cultures and the food is divine. And there's dancing and laughter and the most resplendent fireworks display throughout all of time."
"Yeah…" the Doctor shot his somewhat exasperated companion a nervous sideways glance. "I think we might be a few years off that."
"A few?" Clara, still breathing heavily from their run, peered out from behind the rock they were using as a hiding place. The Doctor quickly pulled her back.
"Careful, Clara. They have a very keen sense of sight."
"What are they, exactly?" Clara asked, her voice little more than a whisper.
Despite their grim situation, the Doctor brightened ever so slightly. He loved having something to share with Clara. "They're what killed the people here. They're called the Hymanorie, they live in the oceans and they survive by sucking the very life out of things."
"That's why it looks like a wasteland out here?" He nodded. "Huh. Well, at least the sky is still pretty."
The Doctor followed Clara's gaze upwards, smiling when he realised just how right she was. "Yeah, it's beautiful."
"Why is it so bright?"
He looked back to Clara, who was squinting slightly as she stared up at the sky, rather than look away altogether. Stubborn. It made him smile even more.
"The people who used to live here were very clever. They had this thing called a Climatic Transformer-"
A loud screech cut him off. Both the Doctor and his companion peeked above the rock to see a swarm of large, frightening, bird-like creatures all flying towards them. They had no feathers anywhere but their wings; only flesh and the occasional visible bone. Their eyes were huge and glowed a deep, dark red. Clara knew she'd have nightmares about those for years to come.
Without tearing his eyes away, the Doctor began to grope around for his companion's hand. "I think we should…"
"Yeah!" Clara agreed wholeheartedly, gripping onto the Doctor's hand. They took off across the deserted wasteland. Every now and again, the Doctor would turn his head and look at Clara. She was scared; who wouldn't be? But she would never admit to it. Clara had always been brave, every last one of her. The Doctor wasn't sure how he was going to get them through this. All he knew was that he had to, because he would not, could not lose her. Not again.
"In here!" The Doctor felt himself being pulled to the side, into a small cave-like place. Clara doubled-over, trying to catch her breath, while the Doctor took a good look around. It was dark, but hidden away. They should be safe here for now.
"Clara?" The Doctor kept his voice quiet and soft. "Are you ok?"
"Yeah. Though, I'll be better if we can get past those things and back to the TARDIS. How are we gonna do that, by the way?"
The Doctor seemed lost in thought for a moment.
"Well, the Hymanorie have only one weakness. Water."
Clara blinked. "Wait…but you said that they live in the ocean."
"Clara, not every ocean in made of water. Anyway, they hate it. Scares them off, and they won't come out for a good century."
"Then we just have to wait for it to rain!" Clara frowned. "Only…there isn't a cloud in the sky."
"There doesn't need to be."
The Doctor took another glance around the cave and returned his focus to Clara. "Do you remember how you asked me why it's so bright out? That's because the people who used to live here could actually control their own weather."
"They could…control the weather?" Clara seemed a little amused by this more than anything else. "How?"
"In Idian 6's culture, rain is…was…considered a sign of good luck and fortune, because it always appeared on the most incredible days; celebrations, festivals, most Fridays. But that wasn't it at all. The rain didn't control the peoples' mood, the mood of the people controlled the rain."
"…Still don't get it," Clara declared.
"It's psychic rain!" Despite the gravity of the situation, the Doctor seemed very excited. "Rain that is triggered by emotion, by thoughts and feelings. Isn't that wonderful?"
A loud screech resounded from outside the cave, and Clara shivered. "Not dying would be wonderful."
"Hey." The Doctor stepped forward, wrapping his arms tightly around Clara. Compared to his lanky frame, she was only very tiny. Tiny and fragile and so very beautiful.
"I'm fine," Clara insisted, but still she made no move to pull away. The Doctor took a moment to indulge in how nice it felt to be so close to her. To Clara. Beautiful, impossible, Clara Oswin Oswald; the woman twice dead, and yet very much alive.
Losing the Ponds had been a painful blow. After holding onto them for so long, letting go had been nigh on impossible. The Doctor had lost his will and all his enthusiasm for life. And then in the blink of an eye, Clara had brought it back.
"I never know why," He'd told her. "I only know who."
Oh, the Doctor definitely knew who. He knew who he wanted and needed, who made his days worth living again, who made his universe worth saving again.
A sudden and very bright light snapped the Doctor out of his thoughts. Instinctively, he tugged Clara out of the way, hiding her protectively behind his back.
"What is that?" Clara asked, taking a somewhat tentative step forward.
The Doctor gripped onto her hand. "I don't know, but keep close, alright?" Whatever it was had to be better than the Hymanorie.
Clara nodded and together, the two of them made their way forward, towards the light. It was painful to look at, at first, but eventually their eyes both adjusted to reveal the source.
It was some sort of machine that looked very much like a sword stuck in the ground. The light was coming from what would be the hilt if it was actually a sword. And the device was humming softly, a little like a refrigerator.
The Doctor had an answer before Clara even asked. "That, my dear, is the very means by which psychic rain is created! The Climatic Transformer. The device senses intense emotion and when there is enough to power it, it sends a signal up into the sky, where it bounces of the Idochi layer – the thing that makes it look white – and it begins to rain! People who lived here probably didn't even know it existed."
"Alright," said Clara slowly. "But Doctor, if this thing is powered by emotion…"
"And the people here were killed by the Hymanorie…"
"Who can't stand water…"
Clara folded her arms over her chest. "Shouldn't their fear of the creatures have been enough to cause the thingy to make it rain? Fear is a pretty intense emotion."
The Doctor shook his head sadly. "It is intense, but there are other feelings in the universe more powerful and more passionate than fear. Fear can be good. But sometimes, when you're afraid, you forget to feel other things too."
The screech of the Hymanorie echoed loudly around the cave, and Clara's gaze drifted upwards to the open roof. "Right now I can't imagine much that's more intense than fear," she whispered.
It wasn't a surprise that she was scared, but it was still a good kick in the face to watch his brilliant Clara have to put on such a brave face. She'd never crumble under the pressure of fear. That was just one of the many things he l-
For the briefest of seconds the light from the device grew much brighter before fading back to the way it was before.
"Um, what just happened?" Clara asked, reaching out to place her hand against the cool metal.
You happened, Clara.
"I don't know."
"Well, whatever it was, can you make it happen again?" Clara's eyes brightened a little with hope.
For you? I could make anything happen.
"How could I possibly make something I didn't understand the first time happen again, Clara?" There was a fair amount in incredulity in the Doctor's voice; it was a half-hearted attempt to cover up the adoration he actually felt whenever he saw those beautiful brown eyes.
Another surge of light and Clara stepped back, raising her hands in the air. "I know that wasn't me. It must be you. You said this thing runs on emotion, so whatever you were feeling a second ago Doctor, feel it again!" A loud screech from above them made both their eyes snap up. They could clearly see a couple of the Hymanorie, circling the hole in the roof. "…Please?"
It was now or never. Either the Doctor would have to just give in and risk losing Clara after taking so long to find her, or keep his mouth shut and definitely lose her. Again.
"Clara…" the Doctor's voice was slow and careful, like someone who was approaching a sensitive topic. "I told you that rain here only appeared on the most special of days. During celebrations and such. The days when all the people of this world, and every other surrounding it, would come together and monumentalise the culture of togetherness and tolerance that this sector is so well known for." His eyes dropped to the ground. "Imagine, thousands of people gathered together to share in that kind of joy and hope for the future."
"Alright." Clara nodded, indicating that she understood. "But what does this have to do with you?"
The Doctor began to fiddle nervously. "Well, all those things; togetherness and tolerance, joy and hope; are all born out of one simple emotion."
"And what's that then?" Clara urged, her eyes darting anxiously up to the sky, then back to the Doctor.
He tried to lean against the Climatic Transformer, in an attempt to look casual, but missed altogether and ended up stumbling a little. Eventually he righted himself and managed to spit out that one word he'd been so fearful of. "Love, Clara. It's all born out of love."
There was a long silence. Clara was obviously not understanding the implication. The Doctor took a deep breath and blurted out very fast, "It's all you, Clara. You're what happened. You showed up when I needed you most of all, and I lost you. Twice. But I found you, and I can't go through losing you like that, not again-"
"Doctor!" Clara interrupted, looking very lost indeed. "You're just babbling now. What are you trying to say?"
"I'm trying to say that I love you, Clara Oswald!"
Silence. Pure silence. Everything seemed to stand still; even the Hymanorie were silent for a moment there. Then without warning the screeching started up louder than ever. The small group there had been circling only minutes ago had grown to a large crowd, and they were getting ready to dive.
Clara all but jumped forward at the Doctor, but her eyes weren't on the sky. She reached up, her fingers gently raking through that ridiculous hair of his, before her arms finally settled around his shoulders.
"What are you doing? We have to get out of here!" The Doctor was panicked; but not for himself.
"Doctor? You said this thing works on real, intense emotion right?"
"Right," he confirmed. "But-"
"But shut up and kiss me!"
The Doctor didn't have time to argue, because Clara's lips had sought out his before he could get another word out. His arms flailed about for a little bit out of uncertainty, but it only took about a second for him to surrender entirely to her.
Strictly speaking, this wasn't the Doctor's first kiss with Clara. But it was her first kiss with the Doctor, and it was incredible. Forgetting all about the danger and the fear, the Doctor's hands found their way to her waist. And then slowly, he brought his right hand up to tuck that gorgeous hair of hers behind her ear, both his hearts beating rapidly. He may be over a thousand years old, but the Doctor hadn't felt this alive in so long.
Her lips were just as soft as he remembered, maybe even more so. Her touch was confidant, but gentle. Everything about her was perfect. If they were going to die, this was definitely not the worst way to go.
And then the incredible happened. Something fell onto the Doctor's hand, something small and impossibly miraculous. A raindrop. A little raindrop, that was soon followed up by another, and then another. Within seconds, it was pouring down.
"It's raining, Clara," the Doctor whispered, placing two fingers under his companion's chin and tilting her face upwards.
Sure enough, the device was glowing brighter than ever; but the sky was dark. Rain torrented down in buckets. The Hymanorie screeched one final time and flew away as fast as their wings could take them.
"Well, how about that," Clara whispered, blinking against the water droplets that fell onto her face. "It is raining."
A ghost of a smile spread across the Doctor's face, which grew wider with each passing second of his staring at his Clara. Eventually, she looked back at him too with that same happy grin.
There was nothing to say, except, "I love you, Clara."
"I love you too, Doctor."
"I know," he whispered, eyes shining like the stars. In all his thousand plus years of space and time, even he never imagined that one kiss could be more powerful than the fear of thousands of people. Then again, in all his thousand plus years of space and time, the Doctor never expected to meet anyone like Clara.
Oh, but he was glad he did.
"What do you say we get out of here, hey?" he asked, his fingers entwining in hers.
"But," Clara whispered, watching almost in awe as the Doctor squeezed her hand gently. "I don't understand. There are billions of humans out there. Trillions. Gazillions, just like me. So, why me? Why you specifically love me?" After a moment she added, "Not that I'm not really glad, because we'd both be dead if you didn't feel about me the way I do about you."
"Oh, Clara." The Doctor laughed quietly, not caring even a little that they were both soaked through. "One day you'll learn. I never know why. I only know who."