A/N: I'd never heard of Peter Capaldi before. My first look at his work was as Malcolm Tucker in "The Thick of It." I started to wonder what it would be like if the 12th Doctor regenerated into a sort of Gallifreyan Malcolm Tucker ...
As the golden glow around the Doctor burst into a small, angry star, Clara covered her face with her arm, trying to peek over it at the same time. He had his head thrown back, his arms and legs spread. Slowly a new sound added itself to the whoosh of energy coming out of him – a stifled cry of pain that slowly crescendoed to a terrible scream that made her want to rush over to him and help him – but the tremendous amounts of energy would probably kill her if she'd got too close, he'd said, and she had no trouble believing it. On and on and on it went – and then it was over.
She rushed forward and caught him as he stumbled – then she looked at him. Still rail-thin, but a little taller and a lot older-looking; blue eyes instead of green; graying hair instead of chestnut brown. The difference in appearance she had been told to expect as well, but this was not just a slightly different looking person, like a brother or cousin; this was a new man entirely.
The Doctor groaned, eyes closed, breathing hard, and she carefully helped him sit on the floor against the TARDIS console. He gasped, hanging his head, his breath coming in shudders. It seemed logical that a man would react that way after going through something so thoroughly painful. She started to approach him to comfort him, but drew back – something about him seemed to push her away, like a force field.
"Is there … anything I can do for you?" she asked hesitantly.
He raised his head slowly. "Yeah," he said. His voice had a different inflection, vowels pronounced differently than he had spoken before. "Aye, you can, Clara Oswald."
"What, Doctor?" she asked softly.
"You can fuck off, that's what you can do!"
Clara gasped. It wasn't as if she had never heard that word, or never used it. But the Doctor had never used it – the worst that came out of him was an occasional "damn" or "hell."
"And shut your gob before you take all the oxygen with you, you cunt," the Doctor went on.
"Don't you ever call me that again," Clara rasped.
"CUNT! CUNT! CUNT! CUNT!"
Yes, the Doctor had warned her his personality would be different, but …
"Why haven't you fucked off yet?" he demanded, getting up. "I told you to fuck off once, do I have to repeat it?"
"If you mean 'get off your ship,' Doctor," Clara said tightly, "I won't do it here. Take me back to Earth in my time and I'll be glad never to see you again."
"As if I fucking care!" the Doctor bellowed. "Just – just get the fuck off the TARDIS, you bitch, and –"
A soft, low, muffled bell began tolling somewhere deep in the ship.
"Shit, the cloister bell," the Doctor said.
"It means the TARDIS is about to go tits-up. You just, just stay there, Lee Harvey Oswin, and don't touch a fucking thing or I'll take you to the end of the universe and strand you there!"
And he ran away. The door shut and clicked behind him; the bell's tolling stopped, and Clara had a sense of things shifting around her, though the console room remained as it was – except for a light flashing on one of the console panels. She went up to it. Something appeared on the display, resolved into English; she read the message there and breathed a sigh of relief. Then she pulled the lever and heard the old girl's engines shift into the thrumming they had when she dove into the Vortex.
A banging startled her. "I fucking told you not to touch a fucking thing in there, you cunt!" the Doctor shouted, rattling the door. "Open this door immediately!"
The console display flashed a single word: NO.
"Sorry, Doctor, the TARDIS is in charge," Clara called. "Go back to the sick bay and lie down."
"Fucking hell, I'll show you –" He kept banging and kicking and shouldering at the door – and then he disappeared. The console switched to a view of sick bay, or whatever it was that he called it, and the Doctor was strapped onto the single examination table, yelling and probably swearing in a variety of languages. A syringe came down from the wall, touched the Doctor's neck, and he was out cold.
The display then switched back to words: ARRIVAL LONDON EARTH 20 MINUTES. FOR YOUR SAFETY PLEASE EXIT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
"I can't do that!" Clara exclaimed. "I know he's got regeneration sickness or whatever you call it – I want to help him!"
HIS BEHAVIOR IS NOT REGENERATION SICKNESS. THIS IS HOW HE IS NOW. APOLOGIES.
Tears streamed down her face as she took it all in. Yes, he had warned her he might not be acceptable to her – or she to him – in this new form. But she never expected him to be so …
Then she touched the console. "Poor old girl," she whispered. "You've known him so long … and now he's turned into this."
The display went blank. She heard the engines winding down, then the settling sensation of landing. She opened the door; she was in the right place and about the right time. She turned back to the console.
"Goodbye, old girl … don't let him get you down."
LOOK FOR US, CLARA OSWALD. THIS IS NOT THE END.
"All right," she said, slipping out and shutting the door behind her. The blue box faded in and out, in and out, and disappeared.