Chapter Three

Clara stood perfectly still in the pitch dark, the only sounds now were the waves and the sound of her breathing. She couldn't see the Doctor but she could sense he was still in front of her. She reached out to touch him and realized he was shaking.

"Doctor?" she said, moving closer to him. "Are you alright? You're shivering."

"I'm fine, Clara."

Clara moved her hand away. The Doctor was speaking through clenched teeth but she realized he might be shaking with anger instead of fear or cold.

"Who were they?" she asked him.

"Friends. Old friends," he said.

Clara was amazed he was open about even that since sometimes she had trouble getting her friend to talk about his past. But she sensed from the tone of his voice that she was pushing it with that question so she decided to keep quiet and hope that more information would be forthcoming.

"Come on, let's keep moving."

Clara reached out and grabbed the back of the Doctor's coat, walking with them as they slowly made their way through the darkness. Now she could hear faint laughter from time to time on either side of them and once a woman's voice called the Doctor's name followed by more giggles.

"Leave him alone!" Clara finally yelled.

"Don't. That's what they want, to irritate us," she heard the Doctor say. "It's just taunts...for the moment. Keep walking."

"Poor Doctor, you've lost so many people," the woman's voice said. "Poor, poor, Doctor."

The Doctor told Clara to stop when they heard the splashing begin again.

"I have a feeling the show is about to begin again," the Doctor said.

Again, there was a blinding light and Clara sheilded her eyes from it. This time the light faded quicky and when Clara took her hand away, she saw a woman with blonde curls standing in front of the Doctor.

"Hello, Sweetie," the woman said to the Doctor.

"Yeah, impressive," the Doctor said, rolling his eyes. "Come on, Clara, let's go."

"Clara, who's Clara?" "River" said, putting her hand against the Doctor's chest. "You aren't cheating on me, are you...Husband?"

Clara's eyes widened slightly and she came up beside the Doctor, wanting to see his reaction to that. The Doctor glanced at Clara and quickly adopted a neutral expression while "River" smirked at that.

"Don't snog her, my love, i might get jealous," "River" said, wagging her finger at him.

"Hey, i have an idea," the Doctor said to the siren. "If you can read minds, tell me who Clara really is then."

"Huh?" Clara said in shock. "Who I am? I'm Clara."

"Eh?" the Doctor said, ignoring his befuddled companion. "Who is she really?"

"River" gazed at Clara for a moment and then chuckled to herself while Clara gave her an odd look.

"Spoilers," she said to the Doctor.

"Blast, not this again," the Doctor said, rolling his eyes. "You're not my wife so please stop pretending, alright?"

"If this...represents your wife, why haven't I met her before?" Clara said, gesturing to "River".

"Because she doesn't travel with me all the time, she has her own life," the Doctor said quickly. "Now...River, dearest, second question. How do you get out of here without bumping into the fish people outside?"

The siren laughed heartily, a laugh that echoed off the cave walls.

"You can't escape us...sweetie," she said with a sneer. "You might as well surrender because there are many more of your friends we could show you...including the one you miss the most."

"If you or any of your friends change into her..." the Doctor snarled.

By now, Clara was completely confused. The Doctor had never mentioned Amy, Rory, River or anyone else that had traveled with him so she had no idea who the one he missed the most would be. She could see how enraged he was though and how much glee the siren was getting from it so she decided to defend her friend. She stepped in front of him, ignoring him when he grabbed her shoulders and tried to make her go back.

"Look, I told you lot to leave him alone," Clara said to the siren.

Then to her horror, the siren shapeshifted into her mother.

"Clara," "Ellie Oswald" said to her daughter. "My Clara. I'm here. I told you i'd always find you, wherever you were."

The Doctor quickly stepped in front of her when Clara shook her head in disbelief. The siren shapeshifted back to River and chuckled.

"See, we know everything about you," she said to him. "Both of you. You might think you can withstand us but we have ways to put men...and women in our thrall. This isn't over yet...Sweetie."

"River" blew him a kiss before the cave was plunged into darkness again. Clara cursed, hating that they lost the light again. There was a moment of silence from the Doctor.

"I know your mother," he finally said.

"Eh?" Clara said.

"I know her, I saw her on the playground the day I sat on a swing and spoke to a little girl."

Clara reeled back. She had forgotten about that day. She had been so young but now she realized that the man she spoke with that day had been the Doctor, except he had been wearing different clothes.

"I spoke to you that day and didn't realize it," she heard him say. "I keep on meeting you, Clara, over and over and I don't know why."

"Over and over? We've only met...twice," Clara said.

"No, we've met other times as well. You apparently don't remember it."

Clara wondered what he was on about. She felt sure she'd never met the Doctor previously but then again, she had forgotten about that day on the playground. Maybe she'd met him other times growing up and couldn't recall it?

"Well, we might as well keep moving," she heard the Doctor say. "Just keep hold of my coat, Clara. And don't worry, we'll make it out of here alive."

Clara didn't say anything, her mind trying to process everything she'd seen and heard so far as she grabbed the back of the Doctor's jacket and walked with him.

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