Chapter Thirteen

"Come on, damn it, land!"

Clara watched the Eleventh Doctor's frustration as he stared at his monitor. They were still inside the vortex, tracking the other TARDIS but it'd been a half hour or more and no landing of any kind. The Doctor was growing more frustrated with each passing moment and Clara wished there was something she could do to help.

"Are you sure he doesn't know we're following him?" Clara finally asked him.

"I don't know, Clara. He might. He's not a fool and the TARDIS can signal him if something is following him. We may have to be the ones to force a landing somewhere, tempt him out of hiding and make him pursue us."

"Great, just lovely," Clara said, rolling her eyes.

The Doctor stepped away from the monitor and paced around the console, deep in thought while Clara stepped back and watched him.

"Need somewhere where there aren't a lot of people. Somewhere where we can put up a stand against him," he murmured as he walked around the console.

"Why not ask the TARDIS to select something," Clara said to him.

The Doctor stopped near her and nodded.

"Old girl, I need your help. Can you find somewhere where we can fight the Valeyard?" he said to the TARDIS.

The TARDIS was silent for a moment before the Doctor felt her change course. Then the TARDIS grunted something and the Doctor frowned.

"What'd she say?" Clara asked him.

"She said it's time I fulfilled a promise I made long ago," the Doctor said.

"What promise?" Clara said.

"What promise?" the Doctor repeated loudly as he stared up at the ceiling.

Clara listened but there was no sound apart from the usual wheezing and grinding sounds she'd come to associate with the TARDIS. The Doctor sighed and shook his head.

"No answer, apparently it's a wait and see sort of situation," he said to her.

"Well, can you think of any promises you made?" Clara said.

The Doctor chuckled.

"Made a lot of promises over 2000 years, Clara," he said to her. "Not sure if I remember them all. Like I said, we'll wait and see. For now, we need a strategy."

"Lure the Valeyard out of hiding and thump him on the head with a brick?" Clara said hopefully.

The Doctor chuckled.

"I would love for that to be the solution but I have a feeling it'll be bit more complicated than that," he said. "Remember, he's me so…"

"So all we have to do is throw a bowl of fish fingers and custard his way and then hit him with a brick," Clara said, snapping her fingers.

The Doctor grinned at that which warmed Clara's hearts. The other Doctor probably would have rolled his eyes and told her to be serious. That's what she missed about her relationship with this Doctor, the camaraderie and joking around.

"Aha, here we are," the Doctor said as the TARDIS landed and powered down.

"Where are we then?" Clara said.

"Um…London," the Doctor said, glancing at the monitor.

He then froze with a stunned expression on his face.

"No, wait, you can't be serious," the Doctor said while Clara watched in silent confusion. "No, no, no, not right now, pick another place to go!"

"Why? What's wrong?" Clara asked.

"I know what the promise is," the Doctor said.

"What is it?"

"It's London in the year 2175. I'm here to find my granddaughter," the Doctor said.

"Granddaughter, you have a granddaughter?" Clara said.

"Yeah. Susan. I left her here after the Daleks invaded the Earth. There weren't that many survivors left and she fell in love with a man, one of the resistance fighters, so I left her here with him because I felt it was better for her to be with a man she loved than wasting her time traveling with me."

"Rose," Clara said. "Rose said you…"

"Yeah, I did the same to Rose. I left her behind with a man she loved because I felt it was better for her to be with him than traveling with me. As you can see, I'm quite repetitive in my thinking. And like Susan, I left her there against her will because I made the decision for her. I did try to ease Susan's distress by telling her that one day I'd come back but I'd moved on and never gave it another thought. The TARDIS, however, seems to have decided for me. Which means I put another person I love in danger now," he said loudly to the ceiling. "How is this going to help us if she gets captured?"

He waited for the TARDIS to reply and sighed angrily when there was nothing but silence.

"Well, come on then. I'm sure if we don't go outside, the TARDIS will take all the air out of the room and make us go," he said, beckoning to her. "Watch, I open the door and there she is, saying Grandfather to me just like the old times. I suppose you want me to fetch Ian and Barbara as well," he said loudly to the ceiling as he and Clara walked towards the front door.

The TARDIS waited until both of them were outside and then she turned on a homing beacon on the console and sent a message to the Valeyard.

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