T he storm is near
Those two words echoed against his mind, over and over again, as his brain continually works on everything, possible futures, mathematical and physical calculations that would not yet be discovered within a few thousand years, of the next TARDIS renovations, his brain only stopped the moment the compression slammed into him.
Now everything was much clearer and more confusing. A strange mixture of uncertainty and happiness clouded his senses and he felt like a child again, barely fifty years old and afraid of the dark.I was afraid to say it out loud, because if there was anything I had learned from the beginning of this whole story, it was that names had power, and this particular name had not been pronounced by their last lips in ... more than four centuries, and I didn't know if doing so would feel the same as the first time.
"Doctor ..." Clara's voice pulled him out of his stupor. I look at her sideways, I was beside her, seeing with confusion adorning her beautiful face those two words that were all over the main screen of the TARDIS, right next to her current location.
He would have to remain calm, even without knowing at all what was going on, he would do it, eventually resolve it if he was brave enough to go out and face what was out there.
He was never especially brave.
"Clara, for today, and just for today, I need you to see what you see, listen to what you hear, don't get away from me." I don't look at her when she dictated her words seriously, she only released a breath she had been holding for more than ten minutes, calmed her two hearts, and walked to the door.
He could feel his doubt, his Clara Oswald never stopped questioning, never backed down from his temper, this time she just followed him. As always, without leaving him alone, once again. Willing to face the worst dangers of the universe only if he told her to go with him.
He momentarily thought that he had spent the last trip they had had before all this madness began, and wondered where the TARDIS had taken them, of how shaken Clara was at whatever she had witnessed and ...
"What did you see, Clara?"
She knew what I was talking about. He only got a low murmur of disapproval. "You promised not to ask me questions, Doctor."
He frowned at the tone.
"Don't you remember the first rule about traveling with me, Clara?"
They both kept moving toward the door, slowly, and he just let the question rest in the air, without really waiting for Clara to answer. His senses, even from the other side of the door, detected the salty smell, the sound of the waves crashing against each other, felt the soft vibrations of time, here, in this place, time moved differently, when there was landed for the first time so long in this universe, he had not understood at first the vertigo that was rushing towards him every time he made an abrupt movement, but now, older and with many but many more stories in his timeline, he understood much more.
This parallel universe was relatively too young, and therefore the time here was too enthusiastic, like a child who barely knows how to stand on his feet and still wants to run even if he didn't know how.
And if he went to the linear order. At the linear time of how that story had ended, many had passed, but many years since he stepped on that universe for the last time, perhaps twice as much as hers.
I was truly terrified of what I could find once I crossed the doors. And so he had to give Clara space to do the honor. She looked at him, uncertainly and clenching her lips in a thin line, opened the doors of the TARDIS and left.
He waited, holding his breath for only a few seconds and Clara's voice from outside startled him, releasing once more the air he had been holding.
"Doctor, we are ... " the doubt dripped in his tone, not sure if what he saw, heard and felt was correct; "we are on the beach."
And he left, knowing that he could not postpone the inevitable, his sight met Dårlig Ulv Stranden. He clenched his jaw, and dragged his feet on the sand, looking at the landscape, which hadn't changed a bit since he was there last, and that was impossible.
There was something that was undeniably woven into human DNA that was impossible to alter or change, no matter how much progress they made in artificial intelligence or modification over the centuries in their initial model. The human being was an adaptable creature, like no other, in the broad universe is solely dependent on making the environment around him reluctantly adapt to his image of comfort. A sterile environment if touched by being human would never do the same again.
Therefore it was impossible that this beach was in exact conditions, identical to the last time it was there. He circled his axis, turning his back on Clara, watching the stones and the sand plain, because they had landed in the exact place where she had said goodbye to them, she, centuries ago.
He bent down, touched the sand, cold to the touch and felt the waves of time, somewhat erratic when calculating, took her to his face and ...
Ignoring Clara's reprimand, she brought the sand to her mouth, and tasted the silicon saltpeter, the quartz particles talking about the warmest daylight hours, about the newly discovered oil basin they had found in the sea and the change at the tide at that time of day, and about ... the wrong time he had spent on the beach.
"Clara, what do you think is wrong with this beach?"
The above saw the Doctor stand on her feet, and she made her own observation about the environment that greeted her, weighing what could be wrong. The weather was slightly damp and cold, the sand wet, the surroundings were calm, the sound of the waves and the sound of…
"There are no seagulls." The Doctor turned and gave him a tense, too hesitant smile that left right away. She almost regretted having made her observation.
"And listen carefully to the waves, Clara."
She had deciphered it a little late, the sound was the same, I watch the waves crash against the rocks, and the water come back. The same sound, the same wave ripple, the same drag.
She swallowed thick.
"The wind ..." She spoke almost breathlessly and the Doctor nodded at his words. He knew it, of course he did.
The weather was cold and wet, but it really didn't blow wind. She looked up at the sky, and it was cloudy, no particular change, the clouds were gray and intact. She looked down and looked for the Doctor, to her face who promised to solve this mystery and what she found scared her.
He was pale. In her eyes, old and tired reflected a storm that she had rarely seen throughout her time with him, her frown and the play of muscles in her jaw were hardened, obscuring her face. A movement directed his gaze after the Doctor. Golden eyes looked at her mischievously, and she was startled.
And the Doctor wasted no time, at the moment when Clara diverted her attention to something behind him, she saw her eyes widen in amazement and her body jump, he turned on his axis, and faced a face he hoped he would never return to see again.