Chapter Seven

After an hour of walking, the Doctor and Clara had reached the woods. By now, the TARDIS was tiny and far away. Also, nothing had happened, despite what the Doctor said but she wasn't going to say anything and risk his anger again. She was about to step into the forest when the Doctor put his hand on her shoulder.

"No, let's rest a moment, Clara," he said to her as he pointed to a fallen tree just inside the tree line.

Clara nodded and followed him as he stepped inside the forest. The tree had fallen and caught against another tree so the tree was resting at a twenty degree angle. Clara put her hand on the trunk, testing its stability before she sat down beside the Doctor. There was birdsong in the trees above them and thankfully no lizard birds. After scanning their surroundings and making sure there was no danger, Clara relaxed and enjoyed the forest. Here, the grass was still pale yellow but there were darker yellow growths around the trees and in the shady spots. It was very pleasant and she was happy to be sitting with her best friend on a lovely sunny day. She glanced at the Doctor and noticed he was silent with a pensive look on his face while he stared into space.

"Penny for your thoughts," she said.

The Doctor smiled and looked at her.

"Just thinking about this regeneration and how in many ways, it's a miracle. There's only one other person that I've known that's exceeded thirteen lives before."

"Oh? Who?"

"He called himself the Master."

"Time Lord?" Clara said.

The Doctor nodded.

"Is that how people are named on your planet. They use English words?" she asked.

The Doctor chuckled.

"No. We have Gallifreyan names but I chose to call myself the Doctor because I decided to help people. The Master…well, he wanted to rule over people and hey presto, he chose to call himself that."

"Sounds like an unpleasant person," Clara said.

"Yes, he was. But not always…"

He trailed off while he stared into space again. Clara mulled that over while the Doctor was lost in his own thoughts. She vaguely remembered the Time Lords from her scant memories of being on Gallifrey. When she stood with the Doctor and stared at the Time War painting, she knew about it from those memories but other than that, she had never run into another Time Lord before. Someone with the name, Master, sounded dodgy and she hoped that they would never meet him. Especially if he had the ability to cheat death as her Doctor had.

And he wouldn't have done that if she hadn't asked the Time Lords to intervene. It chilled her to the bone thinking that he wouldn't have done it himself and if she hadn't thought of it, he would have lain dead in the heart of Christmas and the TARDIS probably would have leaked out and grown just like it did when they first saw his grave on Trenzalor. Was he a bit resentful that she had interfered and went against his wishes? He didn't seem resentful but she knew he was also a master at concealing his feelings so it was hard to tell. But after mulling that over for a few minutes, she decided to ask him. When she did, the Doctor was jerked from his reverie and gave her a shocked look.

"Am I resentful of you for the extra lives?" he said to her.

"Yes. You didn't want me to interfere but I did it anyway. Are you angry at that?"

"Well, I suppose not since I really didn't want to die in the first place," the Doctor said. "The reason I was against you helping was because I didn't want you to die. I was just protecting you so you didn't end up lying alongside me. I am happy to be alive, Clara."

"Good. Because my heart woulda broken if you had died," she said.

The Doctor smiled and patted her hand affectionately.

"Are you still sorting out who you are?" Clara said.

The Doctor nodded.

"But it is becoming clearer with each moment and my memories are returning as well."

"Your memories were gone? " Clara said.

"Sometimes the shock of regeneration jars the mind and there is a bit of amnesia. That's why I wasn't sure how to fly the TARDIS at first. As the mind heals, the memories return. At least most of them do. I'm sure I've lost a few memories through the years but I know who you are and that you're the Impossible Girl and that you're supposed to be traveling with me. The rest will sort itself out in time."

Clara nodded and smiled when the Doctor patted her hand again. She breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed again while the Doctor returned to his thoughts.


Rose breathed a sigh of relief when the TARDIS finally stopped moving and powered down. She looked at Gaz who was releasing his death grip on the TARDIS console.

"We landed, yeah?" she said to him.

"That's putting it mildly, yes," Gaz said as he straightened his outfit. "I hate doing that to her but at least she's not old and dodgy like the other Doctor's TARDIS."

"So are we back in the other universe then?" Rose said. "Is there even a universe left?"

"Now, Rose, you should know better than to question my brilliance. Of course there's a universe left, you silly muppet."

"Oh?" Rose teased. "And how do you know that without looking, Mister Clever?"

"Because I declare it to be so and my word is law!" Gaz said pompously.

"Okay, your godliness, going over to check then," Rose said, getting up and walking to the door.

"You dare to question me, Ape?" Gaz teased as he followed her. "I am all knowing, all seeing…"

"All banging on," Rose interrupted as she reached the door.

She gasped when Gaz seized her from behind and held her tightly around the waist.

"You have a cheeky mouth, you know that, Misses?" he said to her.

"And you have an arrogant, pompous mouth, Mister," Rose teased back, loving the feel of his arms around her.

"I have to be arrogant and pompous. You need a god to worship, right?"

He grinned when Rose snorted at that and peered over her shoulder while she opened the door. Sunlight streamed in the door and a light breeze moved their hair.

"Well…seems I was right after all, my acolyte," Gaz said, as he pointed over her shoulder.

"How d'ya know it isn't Heaven then?" Rose teased as she pointed out the door.

"Cause that would be silly," Gaz said. "I told you what I say is so and this isn't Heaven."

"Mm, if you say so, my god!" Rose said before she stepped away from his embrace and headed out the door.

Gaz stepped outside with her and looked at Rose who was now looking off to the left. He followed her gaze and saw the TARDIS was ten feet away from them. They were standing in a field of pale yellow grass with a forest in the distance.

"See, I am awesomely awesome. There's the TARDIS now," Gaz said, stepping past her.

"If it's even the right TARDIS," Rose added as she followed him.

"Oh, ye of little faith," Gaz said.

He put his hand on the door handle and Rose winced when he jerked it away in shock.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

"The door handle is hot, blazing hot," he said, examining his hand.

"What? Why? Is the TARDIS on fire?" Rose said, alarmed.

Gaz held up one finger and put his hand on the side of the police box. He closed his eyes for a moment in silent communication with the ship while Rose watched. After thirty seconds, he took his hand away and shook his head.

"No, she's been injured…badly. They crashed landed here and she's undergoing extensive repairs and updates. She made the handle too hot to handle so we can't enter in the middle of it."

"And the Doctor?" Rose said with dread.

"He's alive. She said he and some woman called Clara walked off while she was doing this. Walked off that way," he said, pointing to the forest in the distance. "I don't see them. So they must have reached the forest by now."

"Should we use the TARDIS and follow them?" Rose asked.

"Not yet. Let our TARDIS rest awhile. Going across the void is a strain and she needs to recover."

"What do we do then?"

"Let me try to contact him. Hopefully, I have enough of a Time Lord mind to do it."

Rose fell silent and watched while he closed his eyes and concentrated.


Clara sat beside the Doctor and watched as a little rabbit creature fed on some of the grass nearby. It was tiny with reddish brown fur and floppy ears. The Doctor hadn't said anything and she left him to his thoughts but suddenly his eyes widened and he lurched upright.

"No, that's not possible!" he said to himself as Clara stood up with a frown on her face.

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