Chapter 10

The Doctor's body lay still, his open eyes staring upwards. There was no fire or humour in them now. They were like an empty champagne glass after a party. Clara, kneeling beside him, looked down upon his pale, waxy face.

He'd successfully aged himself back to the same Doctor she'd known before they'd encountered the Goji. Yet, apparently it had all been for nothing. The entire process had been too much for his hearts to bear. A single tear rolled down her cheek, as she reached out her hand to close his eyes for the final time.

Clara instantly sprang backwards with a startled yelp, "Oh my god!"

With a mighty gasp, the Doctor had sat bolt upright. Immediately, the colour began to return to his face. His chest heaved as he wiggled his fingers and toes. Clara sat back and boggled at him.

"What's with the stare? Have I some broccoli in my teeth or something? " The Doctor spoke in a hoarse whisper.

Clara was momentarily speechless. She simply continued to gape at him, while her mind tried to register his sudden resurrection. The Doctor seemed more annoyed, than anything. Raising an eyebrow, he gave a disgusted snort.

"Really now, Clara. That is just plain rude. Look at you. Mouth hanging open like a frog catching flies. One would think you've just seen a ghost or something."

Her response was to give him a resounding slap on the cheek. And now it was the Doctor's turn to boggle at Clara.

"What the—? Clara, have you gone abso-blinking-loutely mad?"

"That's for making me think you were dead, you idiot." Clara retorted savagely. Partly because she was embarrassed to be crying in front of him.

Cross as much with herself as with him, Clara brushed away her tears with the sleeve, trying to calm down enough to speak rationally.

"There's something you should know about me, Doctor, I don't particularly enjoy watching people I care about, die. How dare you make me go through that again."

The Doctor's features softened somewhat. He looked down at his bare knees.

"Oh, right. Yes. I'll certainly try not to from now on, Clara. But I can't predict everything that will happen to me. Certainly not a temporary near-death coma brought on by induced cellular-genetic regeneration. As you said," he added in a chiding tone, "I'm not some perfect deity."

"I suppose not." She sighed, as she helped him remove the wires from his body. "But don't you ever do that to me again. At least, not unless you're really are dead. For real, I mean. Not in some weird temporary Time Lord coma."

"Now that we've got the drama out of the way, we can—ouch! Would you mind leaving me some skin while you're about it?" He whinged.

"Were you this squeamish when your mum ripped off a sticking plaster?" Clara asked.

The Doctor didn't answer. He merely glared indignantly at her and winced again, as Clara removed another of the wires. The little square electrode tabs which had affixed them to his chest, arms, and legs were harder to pull off than to put on, it seemed.

"And make sure you get them all. There's always one that ends up forgotten. Usually in a hard to reach area. I hate that."

A short while later, the Doctor had changed back into his now-properly fitted clothing. He was at the console, engrossed on working out how to find the Goji.

"Are you sure you'll be able to find it?" Clara asked, peering around his shoulder.

"Quite possibly, yes. If the TARDIS picks up any unusual energy readings, they will likely be from that device the Goji was using on his victims."

"And if you come up with nothing, then what?"

The Doctor hesitated. Unsure for a moment how much he wanted to tell her. Then, he sighed. He did trust Clara. And now was a good time to show it.

"Then I'm afraid all is lost. There will be nothing I can do to save this planet. Because the more energy the Goji absorbs, the more powerful it becomes. Even the Daleks and Cybermen would fall victim to it. In fact, I'd probably not be able to save anything. Not a single planet or species in all the universe."

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