Title: Sleep and Death are Brothers
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 3865
Author's Summary: Junior doctor, Clara Oswald, never in her life expected to meet anyone like the Doctor. If only he wasn’t on his deathbed.
Characters/Pairings: Clara Oswin Oswald, The Doctor (11th)
Recc'ed Because: It's a short, surreal mystery, where the setting may not be what it seems, but the sadness it's steeped in hits close enough to the truth to keep hurting when the scales are lifted. It has wonderful dialogue & imagery, fluid and changing yet accepted as such, the way you only can in dreams. From the author's notes, it's her own attempt to get her head around Clara, early early on in Series 7. What's also fascinating about it is that even though it was written only back after the airing of "The Snowman," it still fits seamlessly into the adventures in series 7b as well. Clara is brave and smart and kind, all of the ingredients the Doctor needs to keep his center, in any univese real or imagined.
“Are you married, Clara?”
Such a straightforward question to find so curious. Clara felt that the answer should be apparent–was she married? How could she not be sure? “Em, no, I’m not,” she said finally.
The Doctor squinted at her for a moment before continuing his own train of thought. “Being married is nothing at all like being tied down. It’s holding on for dear life, because someday one of you will inevitably have to let go. Every moment you’re together, in every breath, death is there watching and waiting.”
“Did she die?”
“Doesn’t everyone?” His voice was so forlorn that it made Clara ache for him. “And that’s why I don’t open that page. What if I see her and the person I’ve been remembering all this time is different? What if she had a different nose, or different creases next to her eyes than she does in my memory? No, it would be too much to bear. It’s funny, isn’t it, how you go into this line of work to save lives, and in the end you realise you were in the business of death all along.”