The Doctor dropped Clara off with a smile and a bright eyed twinkle in his step.
"You promise to come back as soon as you find something, right? No traveling alone on this. If you make me miss this adventure of all adventures... I'll... I'll… never forgive you."
"Yes. I promise." His eyes looked deep into hers. "I just need… some time alone. "
Clara nodded her head.
"I'll be back soon." He kissed the top of her head and smiled sweetly. "Don't get into any trouble while I'm gone." And then he disappeared into the Tardis and it dematerialized from Clara's view
"Don't get into trouble, he says?" Clara said to herself. "Okay, talking to myself. Better stop that." Her eyes checked to see that no one was watching her and then she grinned, for Clara Oswald had a plan.
Clara stood in front of UNIT headquarters with her gleaming eyes and determined face. In her right hand was a medium size rock.
Kate Stewart was sitting in her office when she heard a loud alarm noise sound. An alarm so loud it caused her to stand up like a shot.
Osgood ran in, "Mum, there's been a breach."
Clara sat in a chair at UNIT with her hands handcuffed behind her. She looked pretty happy with herself. Kate Stewart on the other hand was far from happy. She stood over the bright eyed girl with authority before finally speaking.
"You threw a rock at a high level clearance building. That kind of thing gets you locked away without the key - because there is no key. That's how high security it is."
"If it's so high security, how come I got in by throwing a rock at it?" Clara tried to gesture with her hand, but couldn't because of the handcuffs. She looked embarrassed and tried to pretend she had never tried to gesture at all. She smiled awkwardly.
Kate was not amused. "What do you want, Miss Oswald?"
"I want to read the book." She leaned in.
"What book?!" Kate's face contorted with anger.
"The diary - Mrs. Doctor Professor. " She leaned forward and smiled.
"You can't read the book if you're in it."
"Yeah, the Doctor mentioned something about that. No bother. Do that… what is it…? I saw it on the telly or the internet - yeah, re… re…"
"Redact?" Osgood finished Clara's sentence and Kate gave her a bad look. Osgood looked away.
Clara nodded her head. "Yeah, yeah, redact. Can't believe I forgot that word. Never mind. Just take that black pen of yours and mark up all the bits about me and then I can make a proper read of it."
"Does the Doctor know you're here?"
"No." She got a guilty look on her face. "Eh, I'm not gonna tell 'em, eh?" She winked at Kate.
Kate frowned. "So, why should I let you read one of the most dangerous things in the universe?"
Clara got serious and her eyes got a little moist. "Professor Song, or Melody or River, or whoever she liked to call herself. She sent that book to you to protect him. To protect the Doctor and I get why you want to keep it a secret. And that's all good and fine. But he needs someone by his side. He can't travel alone and she knew that. Not all the time. He protects so many people and yet no one protects him. And he needs protecting - mostly from himself. Maybe that was her job, but she's gone now. And someone needs to keep the torch going. And that's me. I know that's me. It was me. And I know she'd want you to give me that book."
Crack! The old blue journal was slammed down on the desk in front of Clara. It made her jump and she waved away the dust and small paper particles from the air around her. Osgood breathed into her inhaler for a moment. They were in a room deep inside the Black Archive.
Kate looked crossly at Osgood. "Don't just toss down a centuries old document."
"It's a duplicate." Osgood looked embarrassed.
"Still." Kate nearly rolled her eyes.
"Sorry, Mum." Osgood lowered her head.
Clara waved away the dust. "If it's a duplicate - why all the -" She coughed.
"The computer duplicates everything, down to the smallest detail."
Clara opened the diary to find more than a few black marks.
"You will see we redacted all the relevant bits to yourself."
"Almost this entire book is filled with those little black marks. How am I supposed to read this?"
"That's your problem." Kate smiled. "There is still a large chunk that is free of redaction. Feel free to read those. You have one hour." Kate pointed to a large digital clock on the wall. "Starting now." The clock began its count down.
Kate walked out of the room, followed by Osgood, and the door closed with a large crack.
"Okay, Professor Song." Clara cracked her left knuckle. "Let's see what secrets you can tell me from beyond the grave." She paused. "Okay, that is far too properly creepy." She paused and her big eyes opened wide again. "And now I'm talking to myself. Again. Talking to myself and wasting time."
She opened River's diary and began to read.
Clara turned the last page with tears in her eyes. She looked up at the clock and it was just about to strike zero. She seemed almost stunned that an hour had already passed. So much so Clara didn't even move when she heard the door open behind her and Kate and her associate, McGillop, walk in. Mostly because it was then that she noticed something on the last page of the diary. Clara lifted her fingers over a few jagged edges of paper making it look as if a page or two had been torn out - the final page. "She doesn't like endings, either," Clara whispered to herself and a tear ran down her face.
Kate coughed to show her presence in the room.
"That is the saddest story I have ever read." Clara wiped the tear from her cheek with the back of her wrist.
"Yes. It is."
"No. I mean… I just…" She hugged the book tight to her chest. "How can anyway go through all that?" She looked at the book's cover and put her hand over it lovingly. "No wonder she was the Doctor's wife."
Kate reached for the book and Clara jerked her hand away. "I feel strangely protective of her now. I see now why The Doctor was so upset. " Clara stood, still keeping the book literally close to her heart.
Kate put her hand out again. "It's just a copy. Not returning the book to us won't change a thing. Plus, we'll just take the book back anyway and make you forget everything you just read. This way you leave with your memories intact." Kate motioned to her associate to step in.
Clara took a breath and handed the book over to Kate's associate who left the room with it.
Clara looked at Kate. "Do you really think she… that River - his wife - had the Doctor's child?
Kate frowned. "We don't know."
"She put all her secrets in that book. Why this one? Her biggest secret - not put in her diary. So it can't be true, right? "
"After what happened to her I don't think she'd want that to happen to her own child - to repeat the cycle. Another Time Lord child, let alone a child of The Doctor's -"
"Yeah, yeah, he said." Clara put her fingernail to her mouth, as she often did when she was thinking. "I see how all of this is ripping him up, tearing him up inside. I've never seen him so out of sorts and I just wanna help. Plus...a parent should be with their - they should know their parents. I mean, don't you think? I mean properly know them. Know where they came from?"
"Yes…" Kate said softly. "I do." She took a step closer to Clara. "But sometimes there is more at stake." The door opened and Osgood walked in and stood next to the open door. It was time for Clara to leave.
Clara was let out of UNIT knowing full well she was being watched - she was a clever girl after all.
As soon a she got home Clara ran straight to her room without a word to anyone and locked the door. After taking a breath, and making sure all her curtains were drawn, she pulled a small paper square, that from the back looked yellow, from the inside of her blouse. Clara held it to her chest for a moment and smiled. She then made quick strides to her computer, placing the item next to her laptop, before sitting down and beginning to type. The item next to her was, in fact, not a plain sheet of paper, but an old black and white photograph from the 1940's - a picture of Rory and Amy smiling, holding a baby. On the bottom of the photo, written in a pen, were the words "Rory, Amelia & Anthony Williams."
"So, you're an Amelia Williams fan, eh?" The man in the old bookstore asked as he took Clara through rows and rows of dusty hardcovers and paperbacks.
"Sure…" Clara looked up and around. "I read a few when I was a kid. Mostly with my Mum. I got these kids I took care of after their…" She stopped almost shocked at what she released she had done. "I got them into reading 'em."
"You sound surprised?"
"Not surprised no - Luv a good story, I do - eh, so you said on the phone you're the leading expert on Amelia William's work?"
"Well, I like to think so. At least in Britain. I email with a few of them in the States..." He found a set of stairs and walked up them, Clara followed. "And of course her son -"
"Anthony." Clara took out a notebook and a pen out of her purse and started taking notes.
"Yes, she and her husband adopted him in 1946." He walked down a row of book stakes as if looking for something. "Honestly, my big interest is in her mystery - My sisters used to read her books all the time. And one day my sister Agnes tells me how no one really knew about her - she seemed to have no past and then no future…"
"No future?" That struck Clara oddly and she paused in her writing.
"For no reason in the late 1970's she stopped writing. Just stopped. No one knows why. Before that she rarely gave interviews. Very reclusive about herself. " He took a magazine and a book from the shelf and handed the magazine to Clara. "This is the only real interview she gave, other than the one in the latest edition of her last book."
"Yes." He opened the book and to the second page to show Clara. "Even more curious the dedication to that book."
Clara read it out-loud, "To my daughter."
"No one in the family will talk about it. One interviewer said she saw pictures of a young girl not past the age of eight in the house - some speculate the daughter died."
"That book she talked about writing - in that interview in the back of the book - the one with the lost girl in New York City… did she ever write it?"
"From the reprint interview in the most recent addition I mentioned? That was from an old magazine article. Brooklyn Farye, 1969." He looked sad. "No. She never did. There are rumors there is a manuscript somewhere, but I doubt it. Their son would know, but he's not telling. He's hard to reach. I've only met him once. A few years ago he came to town. Stopped off on his way back from...oh, where was it...Leadworth. Said he had family there."
"Leadworth. I know it, yeah." Clara smiled. She was about to go on a trip.
Clara looked nervous, but took a deep breath and knocked on the door in front of her. She was excited. She waited. She heard the noise of someone coming to the door, so she folded her notebook closed and placed it in her purse. The door finally opened and there, standing in the threshold, looking sad and a bit disheveled was Rory's father, Brian Williams.
"Mr. Williams. I'm the girl who called you." She smiled large.
"Yes. yes… " Brian nodded his head, but seemed a little befuddled, like he had lost his keys.
"Regarding our mutual friend and a….blue box," she insinuated with her head.
"Yes, I've been expecting you. Please, come in. I've set up tea in the sitting room." Brian put his arm in towards the inside of the flat and Clara entered the home with great enthusiasm. She walked through the foyer and past pictures of Rory as a child and some of Rory and Amy, which Clara observed with delight.
At the end of the hallway Clara turned into a larger room, the sitting room, where she saw something odd and unexpected - they were not alone. Clara's face fell and she became truly nervous, because she had been caught red-handed. For sitting there in front of her was The Doctor sipping tea and looking at her crossly – she was in trouble for sure.
"Clara Oswald, you could not stop yourself from meddling, could you?"'