I Know Nothing (Because I Know Too Much)
Disclaimer: All characters and plot lines are property of the Beeb. Title is from Anne Rice.
Author's Note: This is just something that popped into my head when I first watched The Name Of The Doctor. It's my first attempt at writing Clara properly so I'm hoping it doesn't go horribly wrong. Enjoy…
It's funny, really, how once you know something you wonder how you ever missed it. You suddenly realise that there were all these signs all along that were just screaming out at you to notice them, to understand. Little things you could have, probably should have, picked up on. But you didn't. Or I didn't, anyway. And now it all seems so glaringly obvious.
Come along then, Song.
That's my first recollection of hearing those words, of hearing anything connected to the woman I now know is so important to the Doctor. It was on one of our very first trips and he was running around the console, chatting away to himself and trying to be impressive. I don't know if he even realised he said it. At the time I didn't question it. He was a time-travelling alien running about in a box that was bigger on the inside and, to be honest, some song was the last of my concerns.
Oh I'm being so stupid. Utterly, utterly thick. I'm just a big lump of thickness and I need to learn to think! River would be able to work this out if… No, come on. Think Doctor!
We were stuck and running out of time and he was rambling, pacing up and down and occasionally hitting himself on the head while trying to work out a way out. At the time I dismissed it, like I dismissed so many things, and thought he was probably talking about an actual river because, let's face it, this is the Doctor and he's probably had more conversations with intelligent trees, rocks or bodies of water than I've had hot dinners.
So what's that then?
Nothing, nothing at all.
It looks like a photo album to me!
I said it's nothing. Belongs to a friend of mine. Professor Song. Come on, let's get going.
My first introduction to Professor Song. In the form of a book I was never allowed to see. I'd snatched at it and he'd quickly drawn it out of my reach, hugging it close to him and not permitting me even to glance at it. It was in one of his rare quiet times and he'd been sat alone poring over this book for hours. I'd sighed and walked away, shaking my head at the Doctor and his many secrets. Maybe I should have asked more, been more patient. He never would have told me, not about her, but maybe it would have helped him to have someone ask. To know that someone cared.
Oh and there was this one time, when I was stuck in a cupboard hiding from some particularly vicious Slitheen and we needed a distraction and so she…
What, what did you do? What happened next?
Oh. Well… urm. I've forgotten actually. Doesn't matter actually, stupid story. Have I told you about the time I took on the Sycorax in my pyjamas?
There were lots of times like this. Stories that were never finished. Details that became suddenly vague. Sentences that trailed off into mid-air and vacant expressions. There was a lump in his throat that was caused by her. He couldn't even mention her but he couldn't forget her either. She was forever on the tip of his tongue, in the corner of his eye.
There were times when we'd escape (well, we always escaped) and he'd look back in panic at the crumbling building or the exploding planet as if there was someone he'd left behind. Then a flash of something unexplainable would cross his face and he'd realise it was just the two of us.
Then there were the moments when I'd look up at him suddenly and I'd see the pain on his face. He always looked sad when he thought no one could see him. When he caught my eye he'd grin and announce some new adventure, some great plan. He would hide his pain, lock it back away for a time when there was no one around to impress: no one to pretend for.
When I talked to him about my mum, about losing her, I knew he understood. I thought it was just because of travelling for so long, from seeing so much, that he knew about loss. But now I know there is one wound that is still gaping across his delicate hearts. It doesn't get any easier, losing someone, but you get used to the ache it brings. This loss was still so fresh that it stung him unexpectedly, crept up on him when he was least expecting it. Because now I know about her, about Professor River Song.
Because she came and went and was always there, and yet always gone. From the moment he met her. I remember the guilt I felt when my mum died: as if I could have done something, could have been a better daughter, better person. Could have told her I loved her more. He has all that but it's combined with the knowledge, the very real knowledge, that he was the cause of her death. The woman who he holds so close to his hearts, who he can never truly let go of. The woman he married. More than a friend, more than anyone else could ever be.
Now I know but that makes it no better. He won't speak of her still, won't discuss anything other than filling me in on the basic information to shut me up. I wish she was here because now that I know I realise how broken he is without her. I saved the Doctor but I can't heal him, not without River. I was the impossible girl, I was a puzzle that kept him busy, took his mind off the sadness that he is draped in. But now I'm possible, now I'm explained. The only thing I can do is keep him company, make him laugh. Run with him as he runs from what he can never escape. What he never wants to escape.
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