A Teaspoon And An Open Mind: A Doctor Who Fan Fiction Archive
First Doctor, Twelfth Doctor
An Unwanted Truth by ItsMeGetOverIt [Reviews - 2] Printer
Author's Notes:
This just popped into my head one day and I couldn't get it out. I think of it as a possible solution for in season 9 and how Clara could come to leave the TARDIS.
This story can be linked to my other story 'A Familiar Connection', but isn't necessary to follow this one.
Please let me know what you think.

The Doctor didn't look up from the console he was working at when he heard the TARDIS doors open and shut. After a few moments silence, he looked up. It wasn't like Clara to remain quiet upon entering.

Because it wasn't Clara who had entered the TARDIS.

An older gentleman stood a few steps inside, but remained still taking in the sight before him. The Doctor's first reaction was to yell at the man for entering, however once he got a good look at the man he remained silent, a grin crossing his face, while watching the man taking in the room; taking in the changes.

Finally, his eyes fell on the Doctor and he just raised his eyebrow in expectation.

"Doctor," he greeted fondly.

"Chairman Chesterfield," he greeted back coolly.

The man didn't correct him, just shook his head.

"Doctor, we need to talk," he started gravely moving into the ship more.
The Doctor's eyebrows rose, though he didn't refuse the man, the old friend, entrance. He held out his arm, gesturing for them to use the nearby steps as seats.

"Do we? I hadn't realised I was due for a talk. Since I'm not a wayward student, indeed I've never been your student; I assume this chat is of a more social nature."

The ex-teacher, now Chairman of the school board, walked down the first flight of stairs and looking around again, choosing to seat himself on the steps leading to the higher level with a weary sigh. The Doctor remained working at the console, attempting to ignore the human.

"Doctor," Ian called again.

"What?" he snapped. He didn't move from the console, but stilled his movements. "What do you want to talk about?"

"Clara Oswald."

That gave the Doctor pause. Was she in trouble? It obviously wasn't life threatening, but for Ian Chesterton to seek him out there must be a level of severity.

"I'm listening," the Doctor said moving to stand before him, hands on his hips, giving himself an air of impatience.

Ian fought the urge to chuckle at how much this Doctor was more like his first Doctor, from so many years ago.

"Doctor you need to stop."

"Stop what?"

"This. This picking her up and taking her on adventures, then dropping her back into her Earthly life."

"She seems happy with it," he dismissed lightly.

"She's not," Ian said firmly. Before the Doctor could interrupt him he continued, "She hasn't said anything to me, and I'm sure she's acting happy around you, but she's not. She probably hasn't even admitted it to herself. But its there in her eyes, she's not happy and this is just wearing her down. She won't make the call Doctor; she's waiting for you to make it.

"Once you might have picked up on it. You wouldn't have liked it any more than you do now, but, I don't know, maybe you were braver. No not braver, but less worn down by life. More willing to see things for how they are, not just how you'd like them. At least, that's what I think has happened.

"You made the call once, for Susan, and I think its time you made it again. Its time for you to lock Clara out and let her make firm roots. She can't, and won't, while she's still disappearing off with you."

"What's made you the expert, hmm?" the Doctor snapped angrily.

Ian didn't look offended or upset he just sighed. "I'm doing what an old friend asked me to do. A bit unreliable this friend, but a good friend; a good man underneath all his show. He didn't ask that I give her the job; he let her do that on her own. He didn't ask for any real special favours, all he asked was that I look out for Clara Oswald the way I would family."

"Like family? I don't recall her mentioning either you or Barbara while she was dating PE. Or her mentioning either of you after he died. Is that what you do to family, disappear on them?"

If the Doctor had been waiting for a reaction he'd finally gotten it. At the mention of his wife Ian flinched and anger boiled inside him. Getting to his feet Ian met the Doctor's glare as he stepped, almost threateningly, towards him.

"Don't you dare speak ill of Barbara! Nor speak to me about disappearing on family! How long was it that you left us in the lurch about the truth? I know you know how to steer this ship of yours now, yet you never faced us with the truth. Left it for us to find all by ourselves."

Neither man needed any clarification on what Ian was talk about.

"Clearly you're not as well informed as you would like to think you are Doctor. Obviously Clara never mentioned to you that her school Chairman had taken an extended carers leave while he saw to his ailing wife. Or that it had turned into compassionate leave when she..."

Ian faulted in his angry tirade as his grief returned. He took a step back and held on tight to the railing, his eyes cast down to the grill.

"I returned to work the week after the -what where they called -the Cybermen?- the week after they attacked. I'm coming to you now, because it’s the first I've really seen of her since." Ian looked back up at the Doctor sitting back down. "And I'm following this through with you now. It’s become an unhealthy relationship between you two. You need to end it. She needs a chance to move on with her life properly.

"She might have recognised that sooner if Danny was still alive, but he's not and she is hiding away from her grief, from facing the prospect of making roots without him. I can understand her fear, her reluctance. But she's young. She's resilient enough to be able to recover from this; she just needs a push in the right direction."

The Doctor remain silent as he absorbed all the human before him had to say. A part of him knew his friend spoke the truth. A truth he'd been unwilling to admit.

"I'll consider it," he conceded reluctantly.

Ian sighed heavily, his disappointment audible, and that cut through the Doctor more than anything else Ian had said. Standing, he slowly made his way around the console room.

"Make sure you do consider it, Doctor." He paused at the bottom of the stair leading to the outer door. "And consider it now, before she becomes a casualty to your travels."

Before the Doctor could retort the door was thrown open and Clara came rushing in.

"What kind of time do you call this? Your quick stop over has been more than two mon-" Clara stopped upon seeing her boss at the bottom of the stairs. "Mr Chesterton?"

"Miss Oswald," he nodded politely, climbing the stairs. "I was just on my way out. I'll leave you both to it." He looked back at the Doctor from the doorway. "Please remember it Doctor. Consider what I said."

"Chesterton!" He called before the ex-teacher had completely gone. "I am sorry to hear about Barbara. She-" The Doctor appeared lost for words. "I think you understand what she meant to me."

Ian grinned cheekily at the Time Lord.

"Yes, I remember." He sobered again. "I suspect I'll be seeing her sooner than you and I shall pass on your love."

The Doctor didn't reply he just nodded his thanks.

"Eventually death separates us all," he spoke softly as he left the Doctor and the TARDIS behind him.

The Doctor looked visibly rattled by Ian's words as the door shut.

"Doctor?" Clara quizzed, looking between the shut door and her travelling companion.

"What?" he snapped, tearing his eyes away from the door to look at the young human before him.

"How? Why? What was my boss doing here?" She crossed her arms looking at him.

"None of your concern. He was my companion and friend long before he became your employer, anyways."

Clara thought about trying to press him for the truth, but she could see a pain in his eyes that he showed so rarely that she decided to hold her tongue. For now.

"Okay," she stretched out the word before shaking her head. "So, where are we going today?"
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