She only came around at half past 1 in the afternoon.
She only ever ordered two things and after five years of the same routine, never breaking whether there be tidal waves or hurricanes – she would never falter, she would never fail. Even when her once brown hair grew to grey and even now that her once young knees quivered with every step. Her back had curved and lines grew and stretched on her skin.
She only ever came around on Wednesdays for that was all her strength would allow her. Clara Oswald-Hu was not as strong as she used to be, even more so now that she knew she was only waiting on the wind and only shadows kept her company – the silhouette of an old, passed companion always lingered where he once always sat. And she could not bring herself to leave that old café – even when he had already left her.
Not that it was unhappy – those fifty-four years with him, running all the way and never, ever stopping. Her clever boy remembered her for all she was – just as it was all she could do now. For they had run together – and now she was the only one who remembered.
It had been three years since they last ran and Clara was tired – she found that even breathing was laborious work when all she did was sit and watch as she waited for the wind to take her back home to him. She had run with him from that first moment and they never stopped until they had to – until he did.
She missed him everyday and every Wednesday, Clara came back to this first place that she now owned. When you run with the Doctor, it feels like it will never end until the day they finally had to. Not that she wasn't grateful – for when he took that last breath in this run, he was holding her hand like he always did and she was the last face his face saw.
"Clara," he whispered – only seconds before his lights went out. "My Clara."
"Geronimo," she told him, clutching his hand even tighter when she felt him let go.
He was never scared or sad – he just looked at her with those same, old, shining green eyes that had seen so much and so little of the universe. He thanked her, he didn't want her to be alone, and just before he left her – he looked at her like she was his northern star, the moon that pushed and pulled the tide. He passed at home; he passed at her side, holding her hand, with eyes that loved her – actually properly loved her – until the green was covered by skin and she was left without his stars in her sky.
They had a good run together – to every patch of land their feet could take them. A year after Paris, he took her to see his other TARDIS. "This Aeroplane Really Does Its Stuff," he told her and she had laughed. And it was there that he had gotten down on one knee, pulled out a little blue box that held something so much bigger on the inside, and asked her to come away with him – as his, just as he was hers. The box held a ring that looked like a key made of the bluest of blue sapphires.
She said yes.
And run away they did – touched and grew with every culture, breathed every kind of air that there was. In time, they travelled each other – their fingertips drawing maps on each other, carving trails with goosebumps, and their blood would turn to liquid lightning in their veins until they were both made of starlight – combusting into supernovas.
They had seen the stars this Earth had to offer and they made stars of their own – the path they left behind created a blaze of starlight, making constellations out of the chaos that they landed in. And oh there were calmer days, there were brighter days, and there were days when the Sun didn't shine at all.
There was the wedding of Amelia Pond and Rory Williams – the crazy ginger one and the one with the funny bones – and they had danced until all sound and sanity left them behind. There was the day of her father's passing – when silent stars fell from her sky and wept when she couldn't and he had helped her hold her light in through it all. And there were days – oh, so many of them – which she struggled to remember now when all her memories were slowly turning to dust. All her fresh spring leaves had turned into autumn and winter was coming for her – the last of the leaves were starting to fall.
A year after the first run without him, she acquired the rights to the story that made him possible. It was impossible to do but she did it. Because she was and she will always be his impossible girl.
Now three years later, the following week would be the first time the beloved programme would return to the screen. Some bloke named Matt Smith was all up to play the iconic and beloved Doctor of their hearts. She hadn't done much except push to have it back on – fought for it, even if it would take her last dying breath – but the impossible girl had one more run to go before she would let herself pass silently through the black sky and find herself back to the second star to the right, back home in the stars with him.
She had only one demand – that this Doctor was to be a madman, a madman with a box who liked to wear bowties. For as Clara's late husband would have said: "bowties are cool" and bowties were never cooler.
The following week was the premiere of the new series – its first episode called "The Eleventh Hour". The bloke that had the honour and privilege to handle it because she couldn't, some Scotsman called "Steven Moffat", seemed to be able to handle it well enough – he seemed to be up for the challenge. So long as he was kind to this Doctor – so long as this Doctor, this saviour of worlds, would be given the kindness he so desperately deserves. Maybe even give him an impossible girl of his own.
A young man came up to her as she stared off and remembered.
"Good afternoon, ma'am," the lad said. And Clara was tired – so very tired – and she almost forgot what it was she was doing in that quaint little café where her life had changed forever and she ran away with a strange madman who promised her the stars. But she smiled – a paradoxically sad and happy smile – and the lad put two plates of jammie dodgers and her afternoon tea in front of her.
That Wednesday – and for every Wednesday she had left to come – she would be the impossible girl who ran and saw the stars. And she would remember.
X X X
A/N: Relatively short epilogue, I know. Is it disappointing? Maybe. But there was no other way to end it. I started writing this story with every intention of bringing it here – this epilogue was the first thing I wrote for this story, actually. I just never realised that in between the start and finish of it would be Matt Smith's departure and so I'm sorry for that.
Feel free to yell at me if I made you sad.
I'd like to apologise for how long this took. I've been preoccupied with stuff and now, with my thesis at its most critical point, I'm afraid I'm only going to get busier. But I'm still writing Whouffle in my little notebook during my spare time. I'd also like to thank all of you lovely people who have messaged me and have shared with me how much you seem to have enjoyed this story.
You, my dear lovely readers, are worth every star and supernova and you are all a kindness I could never hope to ever deserve. Thank you for following this story and I hope I didn't disappoint you. I just thought that the adventures of Doctor and Clara Hu would be a story better left for her to remember.
Reviews, especially ones in detail and bring forth constructive criticism, are the actual best and make me very, very happy. Trust that this is not my last Whouffle story. In fact, I've been working on a little something set in the 1920s so… This is not the last of me.
I hope you all have a day that is as splendid as you are. And spare me a thought now a then. In fact…
Run. Run, you clever whoufflepuff. And remember.