“Can we go to a nightclub?” she asked, leaning on the console. “An alien one, with all sorts of... aliens. Like in Star Wars, you know?”
The Doctor looked at her a bit incredulously. “Star Wars?” He flipped a switch on the console. “Humans, eh? 'Give me Spock, give me Star Wars,'” he mimicked in what was probably meant to be a girly voice. “Are you all addicted to science-fiction?”
“It's just,” she said, “that I want to go out somewhere, but I also want to see some aliens.”
The Doctor put a hand on his own chest. “And what am I?”
Clara shrugged. “You're not a proper alien, though, are you? I mean, you look human. I'm talking about tentacles, and extra eyes, and wings.”
“Like in Star Wars,” said the Doctor.
He shrugged and moved to set in new coordinates. “If that's what you're into.” He shook his head. “Not a proper alien,” he muttered to himself.
Clara's dance partner looked mostly-human, but only because she'd belatedly realised that she wasn't quite up to dealing with tentacles just yet. Still, he had violet eyes and a light-blue shimmer to his skin, which was always something.
Even better than the alien was the fact that the Doctor was watching her. He hadn't taken his eyes off her since she started to dance. He looked thoughtful, and Clara smiled at her partner as though he was the one she was interested in.
The 'music' was barely rhythmic, but Clara managed to find a beat she could move to, dancing in a way that she hoped both aliens would find hypnotic. She twisted, turned, practically writhed and if the Doctor wasn't thinking about sex by now then he probably never thought of it at all.
One song faded into the next and her partner — she felt bad about having forgotten his name already — leaned in and asked if she'd like to go out back with him.
Clara was flattered, but she wasn't that attracted to him. She shook her head and smiled to show that she wasn't offended.
He grabbed her wrist. “Please.”
Clara shook him off and stepped back with a glare. “Touch me again and so help me I'll crush your balls.”
The alien's eyes widened and he nodded. “Sorry,” he said.
Satisfied, Clara headed back to the bar to join the Doctor.
She yawned as the Doctor unlocked the door to the TARDIS.
“Tired?” he asked.
“Just a bit.” She walked past him into the ship and stretched her arms over her head. “Maybe a shower will waken me up.”
The Doctor hummed non-committally and followed her up the steps to the console.
Clara turned to the Doctor and said “Thanks, that was some proper sci-fi. We should totally do that again.”
The Doctor frowned at her.
“What?” she asked.
“What colour are your eyes?” he asked.
“Because I don't think they were violet earlier.” He tilted her chin up to get a better look at her eyes. “Did you take something?”
Clara yawned again. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“Did anyone give you anything in that club? Did you take any drugs?” He looked into at her eyes, staring intensely.
“No! Of course not! All I had was that drink you bought me. Which you said would be perfectly safe.”
“It should have been,” said the Doctor. “What about that man you were dancing with? Did he touch your skin?”
“It's important, Clara. Did he touch your skin?”
“Yeah, he did.” She stumbled suddenly, falling against the Doctor's chest. “Have I been poisoned?”
The Doctor picked her up and carried her towards the medical bay. “Stupid,” he hissed.
“I'm not stupid!” she protested.
“Not you,” he said, “me. I should have paid more attention to your new friend.” He laid her down on the examining couch and hurried over to the medicine cabinet on the wall.
Clara propped herself up on her elbows. “Is there an antidote?”
The Doctor rummaged through the rows of pills and potions. “Did he have slightly blue skin?”
The Doctor nodded and selected a bottle from the cabinet. “A Vikassian. They excrete a paralysing compound through their skin.”
“That's bloody charming,” said Clara, suppressing another yawn.
“They feed on the brain stems of sentient creatures. I thought they were extinct,” said the Doctor, decanting a few pills into his hand. “Here, take these.”
Clara swallowed the pills with a drink of water.
The Doctor sat on a stool next to the couch. “If we're lucky you should be okay.”
“Don't panic,” he said, smoothing her hair against her head. “You're safe now.”
Clara nodded and lay back on the couch. “Trust me to pick out the bad sort of alien.” She closed her eyes and felt herself nodding off almost instantly.
“We're going back?”
“We can't let what almost happened to you happen to someone else,” said the Doctor.
Clara nodded. “Okay, you're right. Do we have a plan?”
“First we need to find him.”
“So that's a no on having a plan, then.”
The Doctor pulled on his coat as the TARDIS materialised. “Plans are over-rated.”
They sat at a table by the bar, watching everyone who came into the club.
“He might not come back,” said Clara.
“He'll be hungry, he has to go hunting.”
“I knew these place were meat-markets,” she muttered to herself.
“Can I join you?” asked a voice. Clara looked up and saw a green women with an array of tentacles and a gleam in her eye.
“We're a bit busy,” said the Doctor as the new arrival sat down beside him.
“Yes, you're on the look-out,” said Green. She smiled at Clara. “I do a group discount for couples.”
“We're not a couple,” said Clara, automatically.
“Oh?” A tentacle disappeared under the table and the Doctor tensed and turned red around the ears.
“Um,” said Clara, “are you a... working-girl?”
“You could say that.” She winked at Clara and extended a tentacle to touch her cheek.
“We're looking for a Vikassian,” said the Doctor.
The tentacles withdrew back to their owner. “A brain-sucker? That's some serious kink.” The green woman sounded almost impressed.
“It's not for... we're not...” Clara couldn't quite work out what to say.
“It's okay, Sweetheart, I won't tell your parents.”
“Do you know any Vikassians?” asked the Doctor.
“So are Time Lords,” said the Doctor, pointedly.
Green grinned at Clara. “A Time Lord and a brain-sucker. My, aren't you cosmopolitan?” She turned to the Doctor. “What's it worth to you?”
He leaned over and whispered something in her ear. The green women turned blue. “Oh. Well. In that case...”
“My turn,” said the Doctor as they reached the next bar.
“You're the one who knows the antidote,” said Clara, “it should be me that acts as bait.”
“No,” he said, in a tone that took no argument. He looked around the crowded room. “You wait here,” he instructed.
Clara stepped into the shadows and watched the Doctor sit down at the bar next to her brain-eating 'friend.' She watched as they started to chat and - as far as she could tell - flirt. Eventually the Doctor leaned across to say something to the Vikassian, who nodded, smiled, and stood up. Clara followed them out into the alleyway behind the bar.
Outside the Doctor pushed the other alien against a wall. “Do you remember Clara?” he asked, nodding in her direction. “The one that got away?”
The Vikassian stared at her, then looked back at the Doctor. “Is she yours?”
“She's not anyone's,” said the Doctor fiercely.
The Vikassian reached out suddenly and grabbed the Doctor's bare wrist. “I'm hungry,” he said with a smile that was just a bit too wide.
The Doctor smiled back, equally mirthless. “I don't think you're going to be eating for a very long time.”
Clara didn't like where this seemed to be going. “Doctor,” she called, “just leave him.”
He answered by slamming the alien back against the wall. “The last war against your people should have wiped you out.”
“Some of us survived.”
“More's the pity.” He pressed his arm against the Vikassian's throat. “It's always a shame to hurt an endangered species.”
“Doctor!” Clara stepped forwards, trying to work out how best to intervene. “Please, just let him go. He's had his warning.”
“Stay out of this,” said the Doctor.
“Doctor,” she said, “you're scaring me.”
The Doctor turned his head towards her. The Vikassian took advantage of the distraction to slip from the Doctor's grip and run from the alleyway, stumbling as he went.
Clara went over to the Doctor and touched his arm. “What was that about?”
He shook his head as if trying to clear it. “I just... over-reacted.”
She looked up at him. “He touched you.”
“Don't worry about that. Just don't... try not to get into trouble for a while, okay?”
“Okay,” she said, taking the Doctor's hand in hers. “Let's go back to the TARDIS, eh? Nothing else for us to do here.”
“Yeah,” he said, taking a breath. “We're done here.” He squeezed her hand. “Thanks.”
Clara smiled up at him, though she didn't really mean it. She shivered and rubbed her arms. “It's getting cold,” she said.
The Doctor looked up at the two suns in the sky, then back at Clara. “Let's go home,” he said.
Clara was about to say that they'd turned a monster loose, but then a little voice inside her said that, no, they'd caught him just in time.