Clara was overwhelmed and stressed out from all their adventures, that much was obvious. So, for once the Doctor took his adrenaline-junkie companion to a planet for rest, and Clara did not fight him on it.
The last adventure had almost brought her over the edge. She enjoyed every thrill and new adventure, but she did not enjoy a random, unwelcome appearance from Missy. Especially when she had, as usual, tried to shag and kill the both of them within the same time frame.
She was bonkers, and Clara had wanted to kill her. She knew that would never be possible. The Doctor had a soft spot for his old, psychopathic friend.
He noticed her distress, however, and now she was sighing in contentment at a spa with a strange, iridescent mojito-looking alien drink making its way into her insides. She’d already had four of these wonderful things, and she wished she could take a gallon back on the TARDIS with her.
She wasn’t sure if it was the mojito or the spa itself, but Clara felt really good.
When the Doctor suddenly joined her, she felt even better. Especially, when he seemed to release some of his modesty - in this version, which was a huge step. She had already seen everything from the last version.
He was adamant about wearing the shorts though as he dipped into the warm, bubbling spa next to her. She had to stifle a giggle at the question mark patterns on his swim trunks. As he settled down in the spa in his own space, she shifted over toward him and settled at his side with a big grin.
Yes, she felt that good. And he didn’t mind her invasion into his personal space, so she ran with it.
“I take it you love this place,” the Doctor said, and he was sipping his own drink. It wasn’t as fancy as hers but she could smell the potency of whatever alcohol content was in there. It was obvious he had his own stress about encountering Missy, and Clara wondered if this little vacation was more for him than her.
“A beach planet filled with different hot water springs and spas? Of course I do! I haven’t been pampered like this in a long time. I think I’ll try a mud bath later,” she said, taking another sip of her drink and leaning against him. For some reason, she really wanted to take her bikini off, but she hesitated. Maybe she needed to drink more.
The spa did seem hotter.
Suddenly, she felt something nibble on her toes, and unprepared for the sensation, she squealed and moved back against the Doctor, putting a hand on his lean chest.
“What the?” she asked, and she looked down to see red, green and orange fish of different shapes nibbling at her feet.
“Ah, they do that. That’s part of the spa. They are Mengani fish, native to this planet. The residents here discovered that the first nibble on your feet, but they aren’t actually eating skin. They are nibbling energy that comes from your feet. All the toxins, negative energy and other aches and pains are eaten away. Then, they will leave and some purple fish will come down and nibble on the physical part, smoothing the skin.”
“Wow,” she said, watching them with fascination. As if the mojitos weren’t enough, now the fish were taking away her pains and toxins. “Do they… take away inhibitions too?”
“Hrmm? Oh yeah, the green fish do that part to generate peace and relaxation. It takes away the stress. Doesn’t work on me though,” the Doctor said. “I have a complicated body chemistry they can’t seem to penetrate.”
“So this is just a warm bath to you,” Clara snorted.
He smirked at her. “I suppose.”
“But you brought me here knowing it would do this to me,” Clara said, wondering if there was another motive here.
“I wanted us both to get away. Plus, you’ve almost been killed too many times. Or put in danger. My fault, really. I thought you’d enjoy this place,” he said.
Clara knew that the Doctor was too old and experienced to ever explain his reasoning with something so simple. Thoughts were racing around her head, trying to get out. Thoughts about how he reacted with Missy. Thoughts how he was looking at her lately and paying attention to her.
Something was definitely different about him - about them.
“So you know how I feel about you then, right?” she asked, taking a sip of her mojito. If this is what he wanted from her, he’d get it. They never really spoke about their feelings for each other. Most things he wanted her to assume by his actions. Sometimes he would just say, “Clara, you already know.” And give her a stern stare to stop the dialog. It was like he wanted her to have faith him - faith in how she felt in him so nothing was said aloud to be recorded in time and space.
“I do,” he said.
“Do you want me to say it, or has this happened before that if I say it, then suddenly you’ll have to leave me,” she asked. “How does this work?”
He turned to her. “I wouldn’t leave you.”
“You would say you felt the same, though.”
“I don’t think I could,” he countered.
“What, say it or feel it?” Clara tested him. She started drawing closer to him. She left the mojito at the edge of their tub and took his own drink out of his hand, setting it down.
She moved to wrap a leg around his - almost sitting on his lap.
“Say it,” he answered and she felt like he was over-thinking about something.
“You don’t have to think too hard about this Doctor. I’m sure this happens sometimes with others. I’ve seen your lifetimes, remember?” she said, tracing a finger down his warm chest. He watched her movements carefully.
He almost seemed surprised, but she knew it was foolish to assume that. He took her to this planet for a reason. He had to. He couldn’t be that dense.
“It happens, though rarely,” he said, knowing her meaning.
“Not that rare, I’m sure,” Clara said, fully placing herself in his lap. She wrapped her arms about his shoulders, running her fingers through his unruly gray hair. She was so glad he decided to grow it out more wildly instead of cutting it short. And she loved the sonic sunglasses, the guitar, and the black hoodie and random T-shirts. She loved when he played music in the TARDIS, like a siren’s song, and seemed to be singing to her.
She felt one more fish nibbling on her feet, and then she let go, covering his willing mouth with hers. She smiled into his kiss, pushing deeper and grinding her hips over his ridiculous question mark swim trunks. In the warm water, she felt his excitement, further enticing her to his present motivations.
“Clara,” he whispered into their broken kiss.
“I didn’t bring you here to seduce you,” he said.
“Shut up,” she scolded him. “Even if you didn’t, it happened. So shut up it and make this another rare statistic. Doctor wants companion. The Doctor takes companion.” She felt his arms go around her, squeezing as she settled onto his mouth again, tasting him. Warm, wet arms caressed her, pulling at her clothes. Thank God, she thought. He knows what he’s doing.
Behind her, the bikini top and bottoms and the question mark trunks were floating among the nibbling fish. The rush of warm water and their rising heat, easily guided him inside her, and she groaned. The waves seemed more frenetic around them, and her mind plunged into a unfettered, delightful haze. He moaned against her as she took him in, deeper, and drew in his scent and taste. She heard him whisper her name between kisses, like a secret, and he let her find her peak - coming down into the rushing waters back on him again so he could find his. She threw her head back as he settled into her shoulder and released a groan in her damp hair.
His hands smoothed over her curves, keeping her close, keeping her inside. He didn’t let her move. He didn’t let go.
The waters settled around him, and Clara leaned down and kissed his nose. His hair was wild from her energetic hands, and she felt him lightly caressing the dip in the small of her back, finding a home there.
“I never thought…” she said against him, a whisper like a spell. The Doctor never made any inclination toward her like this. He never, not in this version, made an inclination toward anyone like this. Even Missy.
“You are always….” His words were cut off as fish began to nibble on him. He made a noise, and Clara laughed.
“You liar! The fish do work on you,” she said, and she leaned away swatting his chest.
“I didn’t want you to think I could be so easily manipulated,” he said.
“Where’s the fun in that?” she said immediately, and she framed his face with her hands. “So, Doctor. How long?”
“How long for what?” he asked.
“I shouldn’t have to say it.” Clara moved her hips on him, delighting in his reaction.
“Oh, well, oh,” he said, blinking as over-thinking returned and he was still obviously tired from their last excursion.
“I’ll just stay here then,” Clara said, not moving from his lap and grabbing her drink to indulge in a noisy gulp. “And you let me know.”
“I --” he said, watching her.
She grinned at him. “And you don’t even need to tell me in words. For now, just enjoy the fish.”
And he did.
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