Clara sat alone in the room; something was going on, something that involved a lot of shouting and running about. It had to be the Doctor; no one else could inspire such panic in complete strangers. He had found her and he was coming for her. Clara stood up slowly, trying not to wince in pain; it wouldn't do for him to see her like this. She always had to be the strong one; just a hint of weakness and she was a little afraid he might leave her behind, for her own good of course.

The high-pitched, slightly off key sound of the sonic screwdriver on the other side of the door made Clara smile. Sometimes that sound made her teeth itch but today it was the most beautiful sound in the universe. Second most beautiful, Clara corrected herself, the first right now would have to be the TARDIS taking off from this place.

The door swung open to reveal a silhouetted figure standing in the doorway.

'Doctor?' Clara took a small step backwards, all that her chains would allow, as the figure just stood there. 'Doctor is that –?'

As the figure lunged towards her, Clara only had enough time to catch a glimpse of red lining in his coat before she was pressed hard against the Doctor's chest. Biting back a sob of relief she tried to return the hug, only to be stopped by her chains. Clara felt more than heard the Doctor's angry growl right before he activated his sonic screwdriver. The clatter of her shackles falling to the ground drowned out the high pitched whine.

'That's much better,' Clara said before wrapping her arms around the Doctor's back. 'I knew you'd find me.'

The Doctor grabbed Clara by the shoulders and gently pushed her away from him. He held her at arms length as he slowly looked Clara up and down.

'Doctor,' Clara reached up and placed her hands on his arms, steadying herself, 'what's wrong?' The intensity of his gaze was scary her a little.

'Clara, I –'

'Is that the time?' A voice echoed outside the room, 'Better run fast, kiddies, only three minutes to boom!'

The sound of that man's voice seemed to startle the Doctor into action. 'Can you walk?'

'Uh, yes, yes.'

The Doctor grabbed Clara's hand and began pulling her towards the door, 'Come on!'

Staggering out into the bright corridor Clara noticed the white cloth covering the Doctor's hand. What had he been up to, was that pinkish stains? 'Doctor is that –?'

'No time,' the Doctor continued to pull her along in a stumbling run.

Clara could see figures running away from them in the distance. 'What is happening?'

'Hope you received your last paycheque because its two minutes to total obliteration!'

'That's what's happening,' the Doctor explained, right before he stopped running and turned to scoop Clara up into his arms.

Clara squeaked in protest. 'Doctor!'

'You're too slow,' the Doctor huffed in her ear as he ran down the corridor, hesitating for a moment at a junction before turning right and continuing on. 'Is it just me or have you put on weight?'

Clara slapped the Doctor on the arm, 'It's you, you've gotten older.'

'No,' the Doctor said, 'I'm sure you've put on weight. Too many picnics with PE.'

'Have you updated your will lately, because it's one minute to dying time!'

'Who is that guy?' Clara wanted to know.

The Doctor staggered to a halt just inside a large bay area. 'We're not going to make it.'

'What?'

The Doctor dropped Clara down next to him. 'I knew I should have given myself more time.'

'Not going to make what?'

'Not unless I – ' The Doctor stuck two fingers in his mouth and gave a piercing whistle.

The wheezing, groaning sound of the TARDIS materialising echoed through the empty room. A faint blue shape began to appear in front of them, slowly solidifying until with a loud thud it settled into this exact time and place.

'It comes when you whistle?' Clara asked with a little laugh of disbelief. 'Does it fetch the paper too?'

The Doctor turned to Clara, his key in hand. 'Do you really think now with the mountain about to blow up it's the time to be rude to her?'

Clara wiped the smile off her face and tried to look serious. Leaning forwards slightly she whispered, 'Sorry,' at the blue box.

Opening the door with one hand the Doctor grabbed Clara by the arm and pushed her into the TARDIS first. 'Get in.'

Clara staggered to a stop just inside the TARDIS door as the Doctor breezed past her and over to the console. Flicking switches and turning levers he sent the TARDIS into flight before reaching out and pulling a monitor towards him.

'Well?' Clara asked behind him as he twirled the knob on the screen until it revealed an overhead image of Seergan's Tomb of the Mad God.

The Doctor grunted in satisfaction as the small mountain disappeared in a blaze of pyrotechnic glory. That was another thing about megalomaniacs; you could always count on them having a decent self destruct protocol. 'It's over,' the Doctor said, turning off the monitor and seeing the reflection of Clara standing behind him in the darkened screen.

He watched as Clara's reflection shivered and rubbed her arms. 'And the others, the other people inside?'

The Doctor briefly closed his eyes. Clara, I'm lucky to have you as my friend. 'They hurt you, Clara, why would you care?'

Clara's reflection shrugged a little. 'It wasn't really their fault, Doctor, they were just following orders.'

'Like good little soldiers,' the Doctor growled. 'Don't worry; I gave them all a chance to leave first.'

Clara's reflection sighed. 'Good.'

No need to let Clara know he had smashed one of Seergan's kneecaps before going to rescue her. Who knows he might have made it out in time. The Doctor stared at his own reflection in the monitor. So much for being a good man. The Doctor pushed the monitor aside in disgust before leaning forwards over the console.

Suddenly two arms snaked about him, trapping his hands to his side and Clara rested her head against his back. 'Clara, hugging!' he protested.

Clara couldn't help but smile as she felt the Doctor's long fingers reach up and begin to tap an almost frantic beat on her clasped hands. 'Don't think I didn't notice,' she spoke into his shoulder.

'Notice what?' he asked, cautiously.

'Back there, in the,' Clara swallowed before continuing, 'in the dungeon, when you rescued me.'

The frenetic tapping slowed then stopped as he rested one hand over hers. 'Yes?'

'You hugged me.'

Clara felt the Doctor's body jerk slightly as he snorted. 'No I didn't.'

'Yes you did.'

'I don't hug, remember?'

Clara lifted her gaze and stared at the back of the Doctor's head. 'Well what do you call it then?'

The Doctor turned his head slightly so he was looking at Clara from the corner of his eye. 'I tripped.'

Clara raised an eyebrow at the thought. 'You tripped?!'

'I fell forward and you just happened to be in the way.' The Doctor said, like it was the most reasonable explanation in the world.

Clara rested her forehead on the Doctor's shoulder to hide her smile. 'Thank you for tripping then.'

'You're welcome,' the Doctor squeezed her hands tightly before tapping them. 'Now get off, you're cramping my style.'

Shaking her head fondly Clara let the Doctor go and stepped backwards. 'So home then?'

The Doctor turned and looked at Clara.

'Doctor?' Clara asked.

The Doctor's gaze intensified as he leant forwards. 'No, this won't do.' He declared.

'What won't do?'

The Doctor stood up straight and gestured towards her. 'Look at you.'

'What?!' Clara began to nervously thread her fingers through her hair. 'What is it?'

'You're a mess.' The Doctor turned towards the TARDIS console then turned back again. 'More than normal.'

'What are you talking about?'

'If I take you back right now, PE will take one look at you and make me do –' the Doctor threw his hands up in the air, fingers curling and uncurling like he was trying to pluck the correct word from the air. 'Push ups and I'm too old for that sort of thing.'

Clara found herself straightening her tee-shirt. 'Is it really that bad?'

The Doctor turned to the console and began to quickly type in some co-ordinates. 'You know what you need?'

'A holiday?' Clara answered quietly.

'You need a hol –' stopping when he realised Clara had stolen his thunder the Doctor pulled the lever towards him and started the TARDIS into flight. 'Right, I know just the place.'

Clara moved over to stand next to him. 'Where are we going?'

'The Eye of Orion.'

Clara briefly frowned, she had never heard of this place. Mind you she never heard of most of the places the Doctor took her, unless they were somewhere on Earth. 'Why there?'

'It's full of positive ions and all that new age huggy stuff that makes you feel better.'

'Is it nice?'

'Nice?' the Doctor looked sideways at Clara. 'It's the most boring place in the universe, nothing ever happens there. So yes, I guess you would call it nice.'

'Boring sounds good, I think I've had my fill of adventures for a little while.'

'Right then, I'll just drop you off for a few hours, should do the trick, while I go –'

'NO!' Clara grabbed the Doctor's arm. 'You're not leaving my side until you get me safely home, am I clear?'

The Doctor went very still until Clara reluctantly let go of his arm. 'Of course,' he said quietly, 'I guess I could do boring.' He turned and pointed a finger at Clara. 'For a little while but you'll owe me.'

Clara shrugged. 'I can live with that.'

'Fine,' the Doctor's gaze drifted past Clara and up to the balcony that encircled the TARDIS, where he kept all his more interesting stuff. 'Books, I'll need some books. And ice cream,' he refocused his attention on Clara, 'that's good for boredom isn't it?' He waited until Clara shrugged before making a "shooing" gesture at her. 'Well, go on, ice cream in the kitchen, go get.'

Clara made a half hearted salute at the Doctor. 'Yes sir!'

The Doctor frowned, 'Don't do that.'

'Sorry,' images of Danny giving the Doctor attitude in the TARDIS flicked through Clara's mind. 'I'll just go get the ice cream, yeah?'

The Doctor just absently waved Clara away, his attention already focused on the nearest pile of books on the staircase trying to decide which ones to take. 'Clara,' he called out, just before she disappeared into the TARDIS interior. 'Don't forget the chilli chocolate ice cream.'

Clara hesitated in the doorway. 'Did you actually like that one?' she called back at him.

'No,' the Doctor yelled back at her. 'I hate it, I don't want it on the TARDIS anymore, you can have that one.'

'Oh thanks,' Clara muttered sarcastically.

'Oh and Clara.'

'What?' Okay there was a definite tone of irritation in that answer.

'We're going to need some deck chairs.'

~DW~


'Where did you find that?' With a deck chair tucked under each arm all the Doctor could do was point his chin at the little red wagon piled full of books and ice cream that Clara was tugging along the grassy clearing.

'I found it.'

'But where?' The Doctor searched his memory but couldn't come up with a time when he had first seen the wagon. But now he had he definitely wanted it, it looked exactly like an illustration of one you'd find in a children's book from the 1930's.

'It was in the kitchen.'

'What was it doing there?'

Clara stopped walking and turned to look at the Doctor. 'It's your kitchen, you tell me.'

'Well I've never seen it before, you sure it's not yours?' The Doctor dropped the chairs to the ground and began to wrestle them open. Here seemed as good as any place to rest.

'Yes, Doctor you caught me out,' Clara shook her head, 'I just happened to have it in my pocket.'

'Then why did you ask if it was mine?' The Doctor gestured for Clara to sit on one of the green and white striped chairs.

Honestly there was times when Clara didn't know if the Doctor was being deliberately vague or he really was that clueless. Mind you, thinking back on the things she'd seen him take out of his pockets maybe he really thought she had a wagon hidden in her jacket. Sitting down Clara reached out, grabbed one of the cardboard ice cream containers and opened it. The interior was bright green and seemed to contain sparkly white crystalline chunks. It smelt like a combination of a crisp winter's day and one of those car fresheners shaped like a tree.

'No, no,' the Doctor quickly snatched the container from Clara's hands, 'not that one.'

'But I like peppermint.'

'It's not peppermint.'

Clara glared up at the Doctor who was standing over her, 'Spearmint then.'

'It's not that either.' Registering Clara's less than happy expression the Doctor decided to elaborate. 'It's made from an alien hallucinogenic cactus. One mouthful of this,' he waved the container in front of Clara, 'and your nervous system would be shredded.'

'So what is it doing in the kitchen?'

The Doctor shrugged, 'I like it in my breakfast smoothies.'

'Ask a stupid question . . .' Clara muttered. Reaching over to the wagon she picked up a spoon and another container. 'I assume you remembered your spoon?'

'Of course,' the Doctor pulled out his favourite sword-fighting spoon with a flourish. Dipping it into the container he scooped out a large chunk of ice cream and popped it into his mouth with a shudder. 'That's a real hearts starter,' he mumbled around the mouthful.

Ignoring the Doctor's antics Clara opened her ice cream and peered inside. It looked like chocolate and contained a few divots where someone had already tried it. 'I think I found your chilli chocolate one.'

The Doctor snorted as he picked up two books and slouched into the other deck chair. 'Good luck with that.'

Dipping her spoon into the ice cream Clara dug out a small piece and gave it a tentative nibble.

'Well?'

Looking over Clara could see the Doctor staring at her. Digging out a larger chunk Clara popped it into her mouth with an appreciative noise.

'Seriously?' the Doctor frowned at her. He watched Clara nod and eat another spoonful. 'Pudding Brains, there is no accounting for your tastebuds.' Popping another spoon of cactus ice cream into his mouth the Doctor returned to his book.

~DW~


It was the constant fidgeting that finally did it; from the moment the Doctor had sat down he was always moving. Sitting up straight, slouching down, legs stretched out before him or tucked up tight against the chair legs; every time he moved the chair would creak. On top of that was the noises he made to himself all addressed to whatever book he happened to have in his hands; dismissive snorts, muttered insults, the very rarest of interested noises as he discovered something new. Best of all was the actual arguments he'd have with the author.

'Poppycock!' the Doctor slammed the book closed and threw it on the ground. 'If those creatures are so mythical how come I've met over half of them?'

Clara closed her eyes and gritted her teeth. After finishing off the ice cream and abandoning her boots and socks to feel the damp grass between her toes, she was trying to have a good time. She'd even found a book amongst the Doctor's collection that seemed interesting, called "The Rise and Fall of the Gruffenstein Empire" she was treating it like a piece of fiction, a thriller if you like and not the actual tragic facts she assumed it was.

'Balderdash!'

Now Clara assumed he was just trying out words for his own amusement. Words that sounded better in a Scottish accent perhaps? 'I get it you're bored,' she turned her head to see him slumped down, legs splayed out in front of him and his long fingers drumming an impatient beat on the arms of the chair. 'This was your idea remember?'

'No,' the Doctor pointed one of those fingers at her, 'my idea was to drop you off and come back in a few hours. You were the one that insisted I stay.'

Clara tucked her feet up underneath her as she hugged herself, memories coming back in a flood. 'Can you blame me?'

The Doctor turned his chair so he was facing her. 'Clara, I'm sorry for what happened.'

Clara sniffed, 'Not your fault.'

'Oh but it was,' he looked off into the distance, 'it always is.'

As the awkward silence between them grew Clara tried to lighten the mood. 'I think your cactus has melted.' She nodded towards the near full container of green goop that was all that remained of the Doctor's ice cream.

Looking down the Doctor grunted in surprise, 'I can always turn it into a milkshake later on.'

Clara's snort of amusement quickly turned into a small fit of giggles. She knew what the Doctor had said wasn't particularly funny but for some reason she couldn't stop. Some sort of delayed hysteria, perhaps? Clara hoped not, it really didn't fit in with her hardened space travelling, adventure seeking persona. 'Okay fine,' she finally said as the giggles subsided, 'go for a walk of something just –' she waved a dismissive hand at him, '– go be bored somewhere else.'

The Doctor jumped to his feet. 'Well if you insist,' he gestured towards the next hill; 'only I saw some ruins over there and . . .' he shrugged. 'You never know "there be monsters" maybe?'

'No monsters, no adventures,' Clara waggled a stern finger at him as she found herself reverting into instant teacher-mode, 'just don't go too far and don't go out of sight.'

The Doctor pulled out his sonic screwdriver and tapped it against his thigh. 'You're not me mam.'

'Good thing too,' Clara folder her arms and glared up at the Doctor. 'I bet you were impossible as a child.'

The Doctor suddenly grinned at her, 'Takes one to know one.'

'I'll have you know,' Clara told him, 'I wasn't impossible, I was unique.'

The Doctor nodded knowingly, 'Just like everyone else.'

'Oh go on,' Clara waved the Doctor away; 'you're interfering with my happy vibes.'

'Happy vibes,' the Doctor snorted. 'I won't be gone long.'

With a small noise of agreement and a nod Clara picked up her book and began reading. But the moment the Doctor's back was turned she lowered the book enough to watch him walk all the way to the ruins.

~DW~


The Doctor had given it a good fifty minutes before deciding to go back. He figured that should be long enough, and okay, sure the ruins had been a bit more interesting than he originally thought. Even if there hadn't been any monsters.

Approaching where they had set up he was amused to see that Clara had commandeered his chair, pulling it over and propping her feet up on it. She was fast asleep, just as he had hoped. Yes the Eye of Orion's much vaunted restorative powers were known across the galaxy and, as much as he hated to admit it, were useful in their way. But the Doctor had a much better plan to ease Clara's fears.

Crouching down next to the chairs the Doctor reached out and gently brushed some hair from Clara's face. 'Clara, my Clara,' he whispered, 'I'm sorry for what happened to you, but I can fix that.'

Reaching out with his other hand the Doctor cradled Clara's head between his fingers and closed his eyes. 'Clara, remember,' his voice was low and gravelly, 'remember this morning; remember agreeing to visit the Tomb of the Mad God with me.' Humans, he admired how much they have achieved with their little pudding brains. But they were no match for a Time Lord's intellect, with the smallest of promptings it was nothing at all for him to reach into Clara's mind and pin point her recent memories. 'Remember getting captured and waking up in that dungeon.' It was like trying to catch fish with your bare hands, the memories twisted and flipped through his metaphorical fingers but he would not let go; slowly weaving them together into a thread. 'Remember the pain, Clara, remember the fear. Then I rescued you and we escaped back to the TARDIS. Then we came here,' the thread was now a rope; almost done. All he had to do now was cut it loose. 'Remember all of these things one last time Clara because now these memories are mine!' Gritting his teeth the Doctor plucked the offending memories from Clara's mind, absorbing them into his own.

Staggering upright the Doctor shook his head as the foreign memories settled in his mind. A phantom burst of pain in his midsection forced him to bend over. Opening his eyes he looked straight at Clara, who was now wide awake. He must have bumped the chairs while standing up and disturbed her.

'Doctor?' she sat upright, noticing his pained expression and the grubby stained makeshift bandage covering his scrapped knuckles. 'What happened, are you alright?'

'Clara,' the Doctor straightened up and brushed some imaginary dirt from his jacket. 'This?' he gestured towards his hand, 'it's nothing, took a small tumble in the ruins, I'm fine.'

'Oh, that's good I guess,' Clara looked about a puzzled look on her face. 'Where –?'

The Doctor clapped his hands together. 'So, you've had your nap, can we go now?'

'Sorry, what?' Clara looked about at the ice cream containers and piles of books scattered across the grass. Where did that red wagon come from?

'Remember,' the Doctor explained, 'you had a really bad week; something about students, to be honest I tuned you out after a while. But you wanted to go somewhere quiet and relaxing, no adventures,' the Doctor emphasised that point. 'So I took you here, totally boring but it seemed to be what you wanted.'

She had had a bad week? Clara searched her memories trying to work out what had happened. There had been the Skovox Blitzer of course and parent teacher night. Clara suppressed a shudder, honestly she wasn't sure which was worse, maybe parent teacher night, at least the Blitzer had been a one of problem; she hoped, even if it had finally revealed her other life to Danny. Maybe this quiet boring visit to wherever she was wasn't such a bad idea after all.

'So we're done?' the Doctor asked her, hopefully. 'Can we go, because I am really bored?'

Clara looked around; something about the rolling hills jolted her heart rate for a second before it disappeared back into her subconscious. 'I'm sorry, where are we again?'

'The Eye of Orion,' the Doctor answered her, 'very tranquil, and did I mention it was boring. Can we go now?'

Clara took an internal inventory of how she was feeling. A little drained, but relaxed; her muscles felt a bit sore but that could be put down to all the running she'd done lately. All in all, this small break from her life seemed to have done the trick, whatever that was. Clara smiled up at the Doctor. 'I'm fine, you sure you're not the one that needed a break?'

The Doctor snorted. 'This was all you.' He looked at Clara intently, as if trying to read her mind. 'So you're fine then, no bad dreams about anything like alien invasions, PE teachers or robot students?'

Clara shook her head, 'No dreams about anything good or bad,' Clara suddenly looked alarmed, 'wait what robots students? I don't have robot students, do I?'

The Doctor waved a dismissive hand, 'They're all so attached to their mobile devices these days who could really tell, but I'm doubtful, being a robot requires a small degree of intelligence and your students seem to be largely lacking in that regard.'

'I have some smart students,' Clara felt she had to protest the Doctor's overall dismissal of her classes, 'well smartish,' she amended at the Doctor's inquiring raise of his eyebrows. 'They have their moments.' She made a mental note to keep a closer eye on her smarter students, just in case.

The Doctor reached a hand down towards Clara, 'Glad we cleared that up.' When she grabbed his hand he hauled Clara to her feet. 'Now you pack the little red wagon and I'll go hitch up the horses.'

Clara caught herself looking around for horses before stopping with a sigh. 'Seriously how long have you been waiting to say that?'

The Doctor picked up Clara's deckchair and with a deft flick of his wrists closed it.

'Show off.' Clara bent down and picked up a handful of books and placed them on the wagon. She began stacking empty containers inside one another. Seeing an almost full tub of melted green peppermint ice cream she moved towards it, only to have the Doctor reach out with one foot and push it over. 'What?' she stood upright, failing to see how the grass underneath the green goo was beginning to brown and fizz. 'Why'd you do that for?'

'Oops,' the Doctor tucked the other closed chair under his arm and began walking towards the direction of the TARDIS. 'Come on, I'm sure you have things to do back home.'

Clara hurriedly finished packing away their things before grabbing the handle of the wagon and following the Doctor. 'We don't have to go straight back home do we?'

The Doctor stopped walking and turned back to Clara. 'Why do you ask?'

Clara caught up to the Doctor and walked past him, forcing him to start moving again. 'I dunno, just thought it's a nice day why waste it? Don't we have planets to save, monsters to defeat or buried treasure to find?'

The Doctor opened his mouth to remind Clara that she had a date with PE, before closing it again. He wasn't sure if she still even remembered their conversation this morning and besides, he did have a time machine on hand. They could have all the adventures they wanted and he'd still get her back in time, give or take a few hours.

The pair stopped in front of the TARDIS while Clara fished out her key from a pocket.

'I'm sure I have a treasure map or two, somewhere,' the Doctor said.

'Then what are we waiting for,' Clara pushed open the TARDIS door and nodded inside, 'after you.'

The Doctor shook his head, 'Age before beauty,' he said, before using one of the chairs under his arm to nudge Clara in first.

The door closed on Clara's indignant squawk, then the blue box began to groan and wheeze as it started to fade from view; leaving nothing behind but a square indentation.

~DW~


'Well look at that,' the woman watched as the picture of the TARDIS faded from her tablet, 'the things he'll do for his little pets.' She looked over at the sleeping man and raised her voice slightly, her Scottish accent deepening, 'I said, the things he'll do for –' she broke off in disgust. 'Honestly some people are not worth the effort.' She picked up a glass of water and threw it over the sleeping man.

Seergan spluttered awake. 'Huh? Wha?'

'Oh, are you awake?' the woman asked.

Seergan looked around the garden. 'Where am I?' he looked over at the woman, 'Who are you and why,' he looked down at his sodden shirt, 'am I wet?'

'Are you wet?' the woman looked at Seergan before looking up at the cloudless sky, 'must have been a shower.'

Seergan looked suspiciously at the woman, 'Why aren't you wet then?'

The woman ran a finger around the rim of an empty glass and smiled at him, 'Must have been a very localised shower.' She stopped playing with the glass and held out a hand towards Seergan. 'I'm Missy, by the way.'

Seergan found himself staring at Missy's hand like it was some sort of venomous snake before hesitantly reaching out, grasping her fingertips and limply shaking her hand. 'Where am I?' he asked again.

Looking around Seergan missed Missy's sneer at his attempt of a handshake, as she picked up a napkin and wiped her hand. 'What's the last thing you remember?' she asked him.

'Not this,' Seergan looked about at the garden. It was nice, if you like nice; a soft breeze ruffled the bushes and sent the flowers to nodding on their thin stalks. He and Missy were sitting at a table, set for morning tea. He had never been here, no the last thing he remembered was – 'The Doctor!'

Missy's face brightened at Seergan's words. 'Oh you remember my boyfriend?'

Seergan blinked at Missy's words, 'Boyfriend?'

Missy reached up and began patting her hair. 'No? How about toy boy, then? Seems more appropriate since I do love playing with him.'

Seergan stared in disbelief at Missy as she picked up a teapot and began pouring. 'You're one of his little friends?' Honestly she didn't seem the type, too old for one thing and there was something off about her.

Slamming the teapot back down on the table Missy pushed her chair back and stood up sharply, 'You think I'm one of his pets?' She glared down at him. 'I'll have you know I am superior to him in everyway!' Arms held wide Missy whirled about, dark petticoats swirling in the breeze. 'See?' Her gaze seemed to dare Seergan to suggest otherwise.

'No, no,' Seergan stuttered, 'obviously you're right, I'm sorry, my mistake.'

Missy suddenly smiled at Seergan's words and sat back down. She picked up the delicate porcelain sugar bowl, 'One lump or two?'

'T – Two, please.'

Missy dropped three lumps of sugar into Seergan's tea and pushed the cup and saucer towards him. A steely smile on her face, as if daring him to make a fuss.

Wisely Seergan said nothing, just taking the tiniest sip of scalding liquid before setting the cup back down on the saucer. 'Perfect,' he said.

Missy gave an unlady-like snort. Reaching out she pulled a plate towards her and pulled out a knife from under a napkin. 'Help yourself,' she indicated, before stabbing at a scone to pick it up and cutting it in half.

Seergan's hand darted out and snatched a scone from the tiered stand, looking around he failed to see another knife and was forced to pull the still warm scone apart with his hands. If he didn't know better he'd think Missy didn't trust anyone else with a sharp object.

'So,' Missy dipped her knife into an open jar of strawberry jam, 'you wanted to kill the Doctor.'

Remembering Missy's earlier words about the Doctor being her boyfriend, Seergan was quick to deny everything. 'No, no, nothing like that at all. It was just a little joke.'

'Nonsense,' Missy spread the jam over her scone before going back for a double dip. 'I try to kill him all the time,' she looked over at Seergan and smiled, 'it's our little way of saying we care.'

'It, it is?' Seergan dolloped a spoonful of clotted cream on his scone and took a bite.

'Of course,' Missy waved a jam smeared knife at Seergan, 'nothing says "I love you" like a knife in the back.' Missy stabbed her knife in the air to punctuate her words, before sitting back and licking the knife clean. 'Wouldn't you agree?' She looked pointedly at the bowl of cream until Seergan pushed it towards her.

Seergan hurriedly bit into his scone to avoid answering.

'And it was a good plan,' Missy continued, cutting her scone into bite sized pieces. 'Concocting that little Mad God puzzle to lure him in, that man can't resist a mystery.' Missy leaned over the table towards Seergan, dropping her voice, 'believe me I know.'

Seergan blinked, had her accent just changed then?

Missy leaned back and popped a piece of scone in her mouth. 'And using his little friends against him,' she hummed in delight, 'that was a nice touch.'

'Thank you?'

Missy laughed at Seergan's uncertainty. 'Of course it was never going to work; I could have told you that.'

Seergan blinked, 'What?'

'Your plan, yes you made him angry. Oh,' her smile widened at the memory, 'did you make him angry. I didn't think he had it in him,' Missy shivered, 'its enough to turn a girl's head.'

'Have what in him?' Seergan began rubbing at his right knee, fragments of memory trying to surface.

'Where do you think you are?'

Seergan blinked at the sudden turn of conversation, looking behind him he nodded at the building in the distance. 'I'm at a hospital,' he said.

'Why would anyone take you to a hospital?' Missy asked, 'you're dead.'

'I,' Seergan choked on a mouthful of scone. 'No, no!'

Missy reached up and brushed the cameo broach at her throat. 'The Doctor killed you,' she tsked, 'you shouldn't have threatened his little friend.'

Seergan shook his head, 'But I'm here, I'm here!'

'Yes,' Missy threw her hands up in the air, 'welcome to Heaven!'