The December snow glistened under the vibrant Christmas lights that adored the Oswald residence. Cars lined the festively decorated home, a web of families celebrating within the doors. The room buzzed with interchanging voices and happy laughter, and Clara was at the center of it all. Artie and Angie were playing with their presents and Clara was mid-way though cleaning the dishes when the familiar noise of a screeching TARDIS echoed from outside. Clara's eyes widened, and before she could even turn around Artie and Angie were at her side with knowing faces.
"What was that?" Clara's aunt asked, looking around for the origin of the noise.
"What was what?!" Clara screeched, nervosity on her features. "I didn't hear anything!" she turned and looked at the two kids, her look scorning them to silence.
"I wanna go outside and play in the snow!" Angie quickly changed the subject without really changing the subject.
"Oh, I don't think that's a good idea..." Clara scrunched up her nose, cutting Angie with her eyes. "Besides, you've barely broken in your presents! Um...I'm going to um... I'm going to check the temperature outside!"
"Check the temperature?" her dad cocked a brow at her.
"Yes! So..um... you know, to make sure it's okay to play!" Clara ran outside, storming up to the idiot who was standing outside the big blue box.
"Clara!" the Doctor barely got words out of his mouth before she began yelling in a whisper.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!"
The Doctor's wide smile was immediately wiped from his face. "Visiting.." he pouted.
"It's Christmas!" Clara exclaimed, pointing to the Christmas lights.
"Yes, yes I know...I have a present for you!" the Doctor clasped his hands together.
The anger on her face wiped away and was replaced by curiosity. "A present?"
"Yes. Come along, Clara, into the TARDIS!" the Doctor snapped his fingers and the doors opened. Clara followed him in, the doors snapping shut behind her. Her eyebrows raised as she watched the Doctor pilot the TARDIS, and she felt them shift through space. Well, at least there wasn't a random blue box outside her house anymore.
"Where are we going?" she walked up to him, leaning against the console and looking up into his eyes.
He looked at her, his eyes dipping to her outfit. It was a tight red dress with long sleeves and it cut off a little higher than her mid-thighs. She accessorized with blag leggings and knee-high boots. Her hair was half tied into a waterfall braid, her makeup light save for the bold crimson of her lips. His eyes lingered on those. He opened his mouth to reply, finally making eye contact with her. She was staring expectedly.
"I might as well look outside now," she commented with a smirk. "If you're just going to stand there and stare."
Blush crept to his cheeks and he tried to scratch the scarlet patches away with his hands. "Oh, um, yes...see it's not exactly where we're going that's important..." he began as she walked towards the doors.
"This is my house," she gasped slightly as she opened the doors to see them exactly where they were. But everything was different. There weren't nearly as many cars around the house, and the lights weren't the same color, but it was obviously still Christmas. She was pulled from her trance of confusion when she felt the Doctor's body pressed closely behind hers, his arms around her head as he slipped a necklace around her.
"It's when we're going that's important," he whispered in her ear, linking the chain together. She looked down, picking up the small piece of silver at the end of the chain. She looked around, noticing he was wearing one, too. "Perception filter," he explained. "It will make you go unnoticed."
"Why do we need to go unnoticed?" she asked, then her attention was dragged away when she heard the doors to her home open, and a familiar young woman came running out.
"ELLIE!" a man came running out behind the giggling woman. "You're mad! It's freezing!"
Clara gasped as she saw her parents together. She watched as her mom picked up a ball of snow and threw it at her dad. The couple laughed and continued their snowball fight for several minutes. Clara just watched, her tears falling down her face like the snow falling from the sky. The Doctor kept his eyes on her, worry written on his face. She wasn't saying anything. He wasn't sure she could. She stared on the scene with an unknown emotion on her features.
"Are you quite finished, now?" her dad wrapped Ellie in his arms, wiping the snowflakes from her rosy cheeks.
"Mmmh... only if you're surrendering," she bit her lip.
He laughed and rolled his eyes. "I love you," he told her, before planting a kiss on her lips.
Clara began to sob, and the Doctor wrapped his arms around her. "Do you want to leave?" he asked quietly.
"N-no," Clara choked a sob, finally looking at him and forcing a smile. "I never thought...I never thought I would see her again...th-thank you."
The Doctor smiled softly, wiping the tears from her face.
"I can't touch her, can I?" Clara asked, looking over at her mom who was walking back inside with her dad.
"Maybe not here...but I can find some way," he told her, raising his brows as she looked back to him with a heartbreakingly hopeful expression. "If you want."
Clara nodded, and he began to lead her back to the TARDIS. As she stepped in, the Doctor caught something from the corner of his eye. He blinked several times, his mouth falling open in confusion. There, just feet away from him, was an ood.
'Trenzalore,' the ood said. The Doctor's eyes widened a bit, before Clara said something to him about getting in the TARDIS.
He shook his head, following the woman in and playing with the TARDIS console. Thoughts of what just happened swam through the time lord's mind, and both his hearts began to race.