Chapter 8

As they neared the place where the Doctor had left the TARDIS, Clara pondered, "Alright, I think I understand the basics of what you're going to do. But, this hypothetical fruit machine of yours. What you're telling me is, that if you pull the lever and come up all lemons, you'll be back to your old self again. All sunshine and roses, I get that. But if you come up with two oranges and a pineapple...?"

"Other than having the perfect ingredients for one of those fruity drinks they serve with the little paper umbrellas, you mean? Ooh, I do love those." The Doctor shrugged, "Then, I'd say that there's the very real chance that if I don't die on the spot, I may revert to an age too young for me to remember how to fly the TARDIS, use the sonic screwdriver, or read a book. Which wold be a disaster, because I love a good book, me."

"You mean I'll be giving you your fruity drink through a sippy cup." Clara laughed dryly. Then she frowned. "Wait a minute, Doctor. Hang on," She said, pulling on his arm as the stood before the TARDIS doors, "I just thought of something. That constable back there. He acted like nothing registered. As if he didn't even see a monster come crashing through that woman's front door."

"It's not a monster, Clara." The Doctor said softly, narrowing his eyes as he glared up at her. "Call it a creature, if you must. Humanoid, insectivore, android, animal, a download. An alien, like me. Whatever you wish. But never a monster. Got that? There are no such things as monsters."

"What? Not even vampires and werewolves?" Clara asked mischievously.

When the Doctor continued to silently glower at her, she shrugged, "OK, Doctor, I'll go along with that. There are no monsters. No offense intended. But you still haven't answered my question. Why didn't that constable say anything about the creature? He had to have seen it. He was standing right there!"

"Listen, Clara. I really don't have time for this." The Doctor huffed, storming into the TARDIS. "All the time, all around the world, you humans see ghosts and UFO's with your very own eyes. Then most of you go 'round and say it never happened. Why, you ask? I'll tell you why."

"Not all of us are like that, Doctor. But please do go on. Can't wait for this little explanation." Clara sniffed. She crossed her arms, waiting for him to finish, as the TARDIS door slammed shut behind her.

Flashing her a sardonic grin, the Doctor said, "No Clara, not everyone. Certainly not anyone I'd ever allow inside my TARDIS. Just the idiots. Which by my reckoning, take up about four tenths of the world's population, these days. Nearly half of those in the United States. At least we landed in Great Britain. Thank Rasillon for that."

"That's lovely." Clara rolled her eyes. "Look, Doctor. If all you're going to do is stand there and take cheap shots at the human race, I might as well go and put the kettle on. I can sit here and have a nice cup of tea while I wait for you mood to change. Which should be in about..." she checked her watch, "ten minutes?"

"Are you saying that I have mood swings?" The Doctor asked indignantly. "I'll have you know, Clara, that Time Lords do not do that...that...sort of thing. I simply change my mind a lot, that's all."

"OK, whatever you want." Clara shrugged. "We'll table this discussion of Time Lord menopause for another day, then. First things first, then. You need to get back to your old self again—hopefully, anyway. What can I do to help?"

The Doctor was scowling at the console, this time. He'd found that even standing on tip-toe, he couldn't quite reach all the TARDIS controls.

"You can find me a chair to stand on, for a start."

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