The Doctor studied himself in his bathroom mirror and uneasily touched the left side of his face. Yes, just skin. Then why was his hand still shaking?
It was just a dream, he told himself. Only a dream. Yet he remembered the feeling of metal under his fingers so vividly, the pain in his skull, the voice in his head. The green eyes staring back at him almost didn't seem to be his own.
Don't be silly. He shook himself to break the trance. The Cyber-Planner is gone. He's gone.
"Doctor?" Clara's voice called from the hallway. "Doctor, where are you? Are you in there?"
The Doctor cursed under his breath. How did she find my bedroom? I'll have to move it again.
He always kept the location of his bedroom hidden. Showing someone where he slept felt too personal. Well, it really depended on who it was. Maybe he would show Clara someday.
He rushed outside and slammed the door quickly, bumping into Clara, who looked like she had been ready to enter.
"Oh!" she exclaimed at seeing him. "I thought you were in there. Is that your bedroom?"
"Yes, and you are not allowed in." He snapped his fingers and was satisfied when he heard the lock click. He put an unconcerned smile on his face. "What is it, Clara? Do you have an idea of where you want to go today?"
"No, that's not – Well, actually, I was wondering if we could have a day off, if you know what I mean." She looked at him with those big pleading brown eyes, but…
"There are so many things to see and you want a day off? Are you feeling well, Clara?" Worry sparked inside of him and he pressed the back of his hand to her forehead, searching for a fever.
"Just kind of queasy and tired." She gently took his wrist and pulled his hand away. "Could we just hang out in the library?"
"No, missy." He grabbed her by the arm and started pulling her down the gray TARDIS hallway. "You're going to the infirmary, right now."
"Doctor!" Clara pulled away from him. "Don't go getting all worked up!"
"But, Clara, if something's wrong…" His voice was soft and caring. "Humans tend to fall ill quite often, and if it's serious-"
"It's not serious, Doctor. I'll be fine. I just need to rest a little bit." She seemed distressed by his concern. Was he overwhelming her? Then he felt a little angry. Why was she denying his care?
"Fine, fine! Library it is!"
Irritated, he roughly grabbed her arm and continued dragging her down the hallway. Realizing what he was doing, he slowed down and loosened his grip. Being angry was not going to help Clara. Besides, he shouldn't take his frustration out on her. She could be stubborn if she wanted to.
"Is everything alright, Doctor?"
"Fine." He forced himself to relax even more and wrapped his arm around her waist, hoping it would feel comforting. He was feeling fine. He was okay. It had just been a dream.
Then why is it still bothering me? He resisted the urge to touch his face again, clenching his hand at his side. He would feel it if there was metal drilled into his face. It had covered most of the left side. The Cyber-Planner hadn't exactly been inconspicuous, especially with its continuously flashing blue lights.
When they reached the library, the Doctor decided to just find something simple to read, not really in the mood to read at all. He settled for a book on astrophysics while Clara was still searching. He flipped it open, but kept on glancing over at her as she browsed through the shelves. Strange how she could be so pretty from both the front and the back.
She came back around the shelves, having found something, and he quickly went back to reading, pretending he hadn't been looking at her.
Surprisingly, Clara cuddled up with him on the couch. He hadn't expected it after the tension in the hallway, but it was nice to have her with him. There had been a time when he had been completely alone and ready for death. But now he had someone, and a woman at that. He sighed contentedly.
Ah, Clara. My Impossible Girl.
A few minutes of silence passed before Clara closed her book with a prominent thunk. She turned so that she was no longer leaning on him, facing him, rather.
"Doctor, why have I never seen your bedroom?" she inquired.
"But you have."
"No. That was the door. I meant the inside."
"Why do you need to see the inside of my bedroom?" the Doctor asked, trying to reason out her curiosity.
"You've seen mine." She paused, thinking. "A lot. It just doesn't seem fair."
"I've lived over one thousand years, Clara. My bedroom is more personal than yours."
Her face fell as if she was offended. Then it turned into a look of anger and she crossed her arms over her chest.
"So, you basically just said that my life is nothing. My personality is nothing. Obviously it wouldn't be compared to you."
The Doctor's jaw dropped before he quickly composed himself.
"That's not what I meant! Why would you interpret it like that? I'm sorry!"
"Because you meant it, didn't you? Humans, we're such a small part of your life, aren't we?"
"No, Clara, of course not!" He scooted closer and placed his hands on her shoulders. "You mean so much to me. So much. You went into my own time stream to save my life. How am I going to dismiss that? And it's not just that. You're Clara. My Clara."
"Okay, I-I'm sorry. I don't know where that came from."
"It's okay." The Doctor pulled her into his arms. "I probably sounded insensitive."
Clara smiled wistfully with her head pressed against his chest.
"Maybe a little bit. But, will I ever get to see your bedroom?"
"Sometime, Clara. I promise."
"Alright, Mr. Clever."
The Doctor stiffened and his grip involuntarily tightened. That's what he had called himself.
"Clever Boy sounds better, alright Clara?" His voice was tenser than he wanted it to be.
"Alright. Everything okay, Doctor?"
"Yeah. All good on this end." He laughed nervously, but he made it sound casual and carefree. "How are you feeling, by the way?"
"Better with you here." She slid her arms around him. "I'm always better with my Doctor."