A/N I thought this would be a one shot, but I went for a walk in the winter wonderland outside and decided to add a little more. It wouldn't be complete without hearing from adult Clara.

Chapter 2: Lonely Creature

The Doctor managed to pick Clara up on time and turned out to be quite a hit with her father and grandparents. As the evening was winding down he went for a wander around the house, eggnog in hand (which was quite good, although he suspected it would be even better if Clara had let him add the leftover fish to it). He was admiring the family photos on the wall and stopped at one of young Clara holding a giant, brilliantly coloured butterfly. "I like this one," he said, knowing Clara was now standing behind him.

"That's my pet butterfly. I raised her from a caterpillar and she spent a whole summer flying around our backyard."

"Where'd you get her?" the Doctor asked, in an offhand way, still looking at the picture.

"I don't know. No one does. Bit of a mystery, actually. I thought Santa gave her to me." The Doctor looked over at Clara with a raised eyebrow. "I had this dream that Santa came down the chimney and we ate Jammie Dodgers together..." realization spread over Clara's face. "That was you?!" The Doctor blushed. "But why-" and then it came to her, "You got the timing wrong, didn't you?"

"I... well... at least I was early."

"By decades," she was laughing now.

"I got the space part." Clara only laughed harder. "But I was right you know," she looked skeptical, "I told you you'd think I wasn't real."

"And I told you I'd remember magic was," she wrapped her arm around his waist. He placed an arm around her shoulders and together they stared at the old photograph.

With sudden energy the Doctor turned to Clara, "I never asked you what you wanted for Christmas!"

Clara thought for a moment, her eyes resting on the beautiful butterfly he had given her so long ago. "The truth is Doctor, I guess I'm not so different from my younger self."

"You'd like another caterpillar?"

She smiled, "No, but something similar. A lonely, beautiful creature, who can undergo magnificent transformations, and needs friends at his side." The look she game him was pure warmth and affection.

"Well I might just have something..." the Doctor patted down his many pockets before pulling the small sack out of his sleeve.

This time it was Clara's turn to say, "Tada!", which she did with a laugh. The Doctor reached into the bag, and seemed to search for something deep within it, for his arm was in nearly to his shoulder. It was a strange sight, the way his arm seemed to have disappeared, and Clara prayed her family wouldn't come looking for them at that moment. At last he pulled out a very small object that fit in the palm of his hand: a simple, silver key. The object tugged at Clara's memory, but she was unsure of its meaning. "What is it?"

"It's me," he was smiling, staring adoringly at her, and the rest of the universe seemed to fall away. The moment was broken by a strange sound coming from his sonic screwdriver.

"What's that?"

The Doctor pulled the sonic out of his pocket and did a scan, "It's... it's a thing."

"A good thing?"

He continued to look at the readings, "Yes, well no, not quite. What's the opposite of that?"

"A bad thing."

"Yes. That's the one. Probably. At any rate it's trouble. Come along, Clara. Time waits for no man." She raised an amused eyebrow at him. "Well that's what they say." He grabbed her hand and began to walk down the hall, but stopped when he felt her pull back. He turned around and realized she had not moved. She stood in exactly the same spot staring at the ground. "Clara, what's wrong?"

"Don't know. I just had a bad feeling, I guess," she looked up at him, tears in her eyes.

"Hey," he said soothingly, wrapping her in a big hug. "Braveheart Clara," he pulled back slightly and placed his hand on her cheek. "Everything's going to be alright. It's Christmas after all. We'll be fine."

A/N Didn't mean to end with a downer, but we all know what's coming.