A/N: Just a short and cute one. Hope you enjoy, reviews are always appreciated!
Half Eaten Jammy Dodgers
In which Clara is ill and the Doctor takes the day off to look after her
It's pretty much your average Monday morning. The Doctor is up and ready, making breakfast in the kitchen, his hair still damp and dripping slightly from the shower. His tie is knotted loosely round his neck, the first couple of buttons of his shirt undone- hardly the most orthodox of teachers at Caliburn High School dress wise and just generally. That's possibly why he's one of the most well-liked, too. Clara, he guesses, is most likely still upstairs getting ready herself. That's quite strange for Clara, though, for him to be up before her. Usually she's dragging him out of bed.
He shoves some bread into the toaster and takes the liberty of having a swig of milk straight out of the bottle. Clara usually tells him off for that- not having her disapproving tut as she grabs the bottle away from him is kind of weird, actually. He's not sure if he likes it. He guiltily twists the cap back onto the carton and pushes it further away from him; he feels like he's betraying Clara slightly.
A couple of minutes later, the toast pops out the toaster. The hot bread scorches his fingers as he quickly grabs it and puts on a plate. He sucks his sore fingers (this happens almost every single day, he thought he would've learned) before slotting another two pieces of bread in for Clara. Who, come to mention it, still hasn't reared her head. It was so uncharacteristic for her to be late down at all- she was usually so prompt. An acute sense of time, inherited from her mother or something. Back when they were students, just beginning to date, she was always ready and waiting when he went round to pick her up to go to the cinema or the like. Girlfriends he'd had in the past still hadn't finished putting on their makeup or hadn't got their hair quite right.
He messily slathers butter across his bread and takes a massive bite, spilling crumbs across the table; quickly brushing them onto the floor which he swears he will brush up in a minute. Probably.
"Clara?" he shouts between mouthfuls, "Toast is almost ready!"
There's no response from upstairs which makes him sceptical. Is there something wrong? His eyes widen as he drops the toast back onto his plate- was she hurt? Had she slipped or something? He hadn't heard a bang or anything, but still, to be sure…
He's about to go out of the kitchen and up the stairs, but he hears the pad of footsteps in the hallway and breathes an internal sigh of relief. She's fine. She's okay.
Clara enters the kitchen- and his face falls slightly. She's not okay; she looks terrible. Her cheeks are red and glistened with beads of sweat, her face free from makeup and purple rings setting their foundations beneath her usually sparkling brown eyes. Her brown tresses are scraped back from her face into a scruffy ponytail instead of one of her usual quirky styles or loose down her shoulders. She does not look like herself at all. No happy morning smile playing on her lips or a giggle as she slips into the kitchen and plants a morning kiss on his lips. No, she just walks in, barely even saying hello. She jumps up to the breakfast table with as much enthusiasm as a hung-over sloth and practically falls asleep on her hand as she lazily rests her elbow on the table.
"Blimey! You look aw-"he hesitates as Clara narrows her eyes at him, "Awfully lovely as usual, yes, but uh… A bit peaky?"
She shakes her head, her words slurring somewhat as she speaks. "I'm fine."
"No you're not," he says, walking round to her side of the table, "You are not going to work like that."
"But I'll be-"
"Now I'm sure you will, but I don't think your class of six and seven year olds will appreciate their teacher falling asleep on their desk." he pauses, "Actually, they probably will, which is considerably more worrying. Bunch of kids, comatose teacher, classroom full of glitter and prittsticks- not a good combination. So, no, you are not leaving this house, Clara. Definitely not."
Clara groans, admitting defeat. Her head lolls lazily onto his shoulder and he's worried that she's just going to fall asleep there. "My head feels like it's falling apart. And I'm so hot I'll probably spontaneously combust in a matter of minutes if you don't shove some ice on my head. Or my whole body. Whatever."
He chuckles. "So now you've confessed you are actually too ill to work, you're expecting me to wait on you hand and foot?"
Her eyes flicker closed. "Yeah."
"Oh. Well. At least you're honest," he states, pulling her weak arms across his shoulders and letting his arms slide underneath her legs so he can pull her into a lift. "Looks like I'll be calling in off from work too, then."
"No!" she moans, letting her clammy palm slide across his cheek, "I'll just stay in bed, I'll be fine. Great. You go."
"I'm not complaining," the Doctor claims with a smile, "I'd much rather take care of you. Besides, I've got class 10X1 today. You know my feelings regarding that group of hooligans."
And Clara sleepily smiles at his attempt of humour as she dozes off in his arms.
A few hours later, Clara wakes up in amongst a duvet and two pillows. Her head still hurts, occasional pain tugging at her synapses as she shifts her position. Tucked in beside her is a large teddy bear which usually sits at the foot of the bed as well as a couple of stuffed rabbits which she doesn't remember putting there. She can't help but laugh ever so slightly. Doctor.
She groans as she turns over in the bed. On her bedside table she can see a vase full to the brim of fresh flowers, a glass of water and a plate of jammy dodgers. Typical. A couple of them are half-eaten.
She leans up to look at the other side of the room, and she sees the Doctor sitting in the corner with a pile of papers and a biro hanging loosely between his teeth. His eyes instantly catch onto hers.
"Have you been sitting there the whole time?" she croaks, stretching out her arms.
"Yep," he pops the 'p', "Feeling any better?"
"A bit. Head still hurts, though," she confesses as she drops back onto the pillow.
The Doctor stacks all his papers onto the stool and approaches her bedside. There's an unopened packet of paracetamol on the cabinet so he rips it open and pops out two.
"Here you go," he offers as she sits up, giving her the water and dropping the two small capsules into her palm. She smiles gratefully, taking a sip and swallowing them.
"You really are too good to me," she laughs, brushing back her hair from her face with her hand. "Not even my own dad is this good to me. He's more the 'grin and bear it' type. Sent me to school with impetigo when I was eight."
The Doctor laughs back. "I can imagine. Great man, your dad. Still thinks I'm some sort of government official capable of abdicating the Prime Minister, no matter how many times I've told him I've got no connections to the government whatsoever."
Clara chuckles softly, pulling up the duvet next to her. He doesn't need to be asked to climb in beside her, cuddling her gently against his shoulders and her arms wrap across his chest and her hair spills across his torso.
"What did the school say?" she mumbles, his hand running through her hair.
"Not much," he says, "Just get well soon and get back as soon as your better. They'll get a supply to cover your lessons until you're back."
"Good," she smiles, "And what about you?"
"Ah, well…" he grimaces, "I pulled a sickie. I mean I've never been off ill once this year, they've got to give me a break some time. Told me the same as your school did you. I felt so rebellious. Like skipping school back when I was a teenager. Not that I, uh, skipped school, of course…"
"Of course not," Clara grins, "Star pupil, you."
"Definitely." he confirms. "Now… Do you want me to run you a bath?"
"I should be ill more often!" Clara laughs, "Yeah, please. Only if you come in with me."
"…Maybe we should both be ill more often."