Chapter Eleven

This felt so surreal to Clara. Earlier today, she'd been standing in the TARDIS with the twelfth Doctor and now here she was, back with the Eleventh. She was trying not to get emotional but it was hard to look at him without a rush of memories coming back to her.

Not to mention the words of the Twelfth coming back to her.

"I'm not your boyfriend, Clara."

"I never said it was your mistake."

Did that mean that this Doctor…he really did love her as more than a friend?"

The Doctor made it clear to her upon entering that she couldn't tell him anything from the future. That he didn't want to know…apart from one thing…

"Am I ginger?" he asked her.

"Um…no, you're not."

"Damn! Damn, damn, damn, when am I going to be bleedin' ginger?" he said while Clara watched, bemused. "Alright, that's enough. Don't want any more foreknowledge. Although, you could suggest to the other me that he get his hair colored. Just so, you know, he could say he was ginger."

"Yeah, I'll pass that on when I see him," Clara said.

And now here they were, together again, just like old times. It was like slipping on a comfortable old shoe. It just felt right being here. Suddenly, she was entertaining thoughts of just staying with Eleven and leaving Twelve behind. But then she realized that would never work since the other her was still with him and besides, Eleven made her promise to go with Twelve and be his companion and she was determined to keep that promise.

"Okay then," Eleven said as he watched the monitor. "We have a lock on them as they're traveling through the vortex."

"So we can overtake them?" Clara asked.

"Not here, have to wait till they land," Eleven replied, shaking his head. "Too dangerous to overtake them inside the vortex, things can go wrong."

"But we can follow them wherever they go, yeah?"

"Yup. Unless the Valeyard is clever enough to find a way to throw us off the scent," he added after a moment's thought. "I must warn you, Clara. The Valeyard is me, only an evil heartless version. Think of me without any pity or remorse or conscience."

"So he's depraved?"

"Yes, that would be an apt description of him," Eleven said with a nod.

"So we better stick together then, yeah?"

"Yes, otherwise we might fall into his trap. Working together, that's the key," the Doctor said.

"Doctor, he said that Rose was in love with you. Are you still in love with her?"

Eleven lowered his eyes to the console and stared at it.

"I think you do. You seemed distressed when I mentioned her and the Valeyard and the Valeyard looks like the one who fought the Zygons with us. Rose said that you left him with her because it was a way of leaving yourself so she could be loved for the rest of her life."

"I love many people, Clara," Eleven said, glancing at her before looking back down at the console. "There are many people who are precious to me, some more than others."

"And Rose fits into the some more than others category?"

The Doctor hesitated for a moment before nodding. Clara walked over and put her hand on his shoulder, causing him to look up at her.

"If you're trying to keep it a secret, I won't tell," Clara said.

"Thank you," Eleven said, smiling.

Clara wondered if she was in the some more than others category as well but kept her thoughts to herself. Instead, she went and sat down and waited with the Doctor for the other TARDIS to land.


The Doctor and Rose walked along the corridor behind the Valeyard. He was holding the ball in his hand and the forcefield was still around the two of them, forcing them to walk with the Valeyard while the Master and Xelok walked behind them. By now, Rose had recovered and she was holding hands with the Doctor, something the Doctor allowed her to do under the circumstances. His mind was racing, trying to come up with tests he could do that wouldn't hurt Rose while he tried to think of a way to overpower the Valeyard and escape. He was settling on a preliminary scan and a blood test and hoped that would take some time. To be honest, he was a bit shaken from watching Rose nearly die and it was hard to think straight. Not to mention the realization that something was still inside her both fascinated and terrified him. From what he could see, it hadn't had any adverse effects on her and it seemed to be both benign and protective of her. But something powerful enough to heal a stab wound had no business being in the Valeyard's clutches and he was fully prepared to protect and possibly regenerate for Rose to see that he didn't get the Bad Wolf.

They entered the lab and the Valeyard led them to the center of it before putting the ball down. He left some room for him to move around while he puttered around the lab, pulling things out of drawers while he whistled cheerfully.

He pulled out two small discs that the Doctor recognized as smaller forcefield barriers and he watched as he walked over to the door and put them on either side of the doorway in the corridor. Then he walked back in and rifled through the drawers again before pulling out two thin metal collars. The Doctor recognized those as well.

"So you're going to put shock collars on us and bar the door so we can't wander around," he said to the Valeyard.

"Correct. And I'm going to be monitoring you as well so if you slack off…bzzzzt!" the Valeyard said, shaking his body as if an electric shock had seized him. "So be on your best behavior or I'll be in here running the tests…and trust me, you don't want that."

The Doctor glowered at him and balled his fists as the Valeyard whistled cheerfully and continued to set up the lab.

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