eloriekam: (Doctor (Ten) Ood by jordansavas)
[personal profile] eloriekam
Title: New Face, Old Ghosts, Vast Wardrobe (3/3)
Author: [personal profile] eloriekam/[livejournal.com profile] eloriekam
Rating: Teen
Characters: Twelve, Clara (SPOILERS for Twelve casting)
Disclaimer: Not mine, no money.
Summary: He's still not much good after regenerating, but he might be better at picking what this face will usually wear... assuming he can get over the shock of his face, and avoid some garments he hasn't seen for a few bodies, and doesn't want to see again.
Word Count: 2100
Author's Notes: I'm still not sure why I keep getting the urge to write Twelve, but this scene is also one I think we as fans kind of expect (though it did go on for a while--sorry about that, but they kept going on and on), and I'm not sure we'll get that scene. The foreign phrases were obtained with Google Translate and Freelang. And I'm posting this before I completely lose my nerve. In this chapter, Twelve and Clara snark at each other during the wardrobe ritual.

Part 1: Dreamwidth/LiveJournal
Part 2: Dreamwidth/LiveJournal


The face that meets his eyes when he looks to the mirror again shows red-rimmed eyes, but some tension he hadn't noticed before is now gone, the muscles around his cheekbone and jaw just a little more relaxed, easing the lines of this new face.

He isn't quite sure where the waistcoat got to, but there are plenty more. In any case, something else has caught his eye, so he grabs it and hops down a few stairs as he puts it on. Just as he tugs the gloves on, he becomes aware of Clara, and looks up to meet her gaze.

"What is that?"

"It's my clothing, Clara. Don't you like it?"

"Doctor, you look like you should be standing on an elephant's back or something."

"I thought it was charming."

"I think there's no way you're going to blend in anywhere if you step outside the TARDIS wearing that."

"Hmm." He looks down at himself. "I suppose it's possible that the Ice Warriors, for example, might have trouble taking me seriously."

"There's no reason to add another handicap to that problem, Doctor." She smiles at him, and it takes a few moments before he realizes what she just said.

"Oi! I am perfectly capable of being taken entirely seriously by hundreds of species, I'll have you know, Clara." He advances, shaking a finger at her. "But, if you think it's a problem, I can find another outfit." With exaggerated grace, he turns and ventures back into the racks of clothes again.

She just raises her eyebrows and folds her arms at the next outfit. He opens his mouth, then retreats again.

"What is that?" Clara giggles several minutes later. He sighs, and tries to glare at her, but he's not entirely sure why he decided to put on a ruffled shirt with a patchy, multi-colored coat and baggy trousers that don't reach his ankles.

"Err... it must be previous personalities, bleeding through. Sorry." He looks over at her almost shyly.

"You used to wear that?" She is struggling to stop grinning.

"Not all at once!"

"You are such a clotheshorse." He furrows his eyebrows indignantly at that.

"I think, considering just how long I've been traveling, that this is a very modest wardrobe." She just leans against the wall and smiles at him. He harrumphs, and retreats to change again.

"That's very local of you," Clara comments at the sight of his next outfit.

"Depends on the time period, I suppose. What do you think?" He adjusts the sporran and checks to make sure nothing is wrinkled already. "Also, for your information, a friend, a traveling companion, wore something like this. Jamie, his name was."

"Is the tartan accurate?" Clara wants to know, smirking a bit.

"Err, yes, of course? And look, it has pockets because of the sporran!"

"It's very fetching."

"Thank you." He smirks just a bit, but suspects she isn't done.

"So, Doctor, what exactly happens when I have to climb up behind you in order to escape something?"

"Ah. Well, you see..." he trails off. "Are you telling me you don't like it?"

"I'm just thinking of our dignity," she maintains innocently.

"I'm wearing a kilt that you have admitted is quite fetching, and you're suddenly worried about my dignity? Where have you been? Was our adventure on the submarine dignified, or that bizarre cult, or--"

"I've been right here with you, thank you very much. I just think it would be better if you wore..."

"Trousers?"

"Well, yes?"

"Kilts and clothing similar to kilts are popular styles for men in dozens of time periods and hundreds of planets and thousands of cultures, I'll have you know!"

"Wear it when we go there."

"Excellent plan!" he shouts, glowering, before retreating back amongst the clothes and knocking some items over in his irritation. "I'll just park the TARDIS up by Loch Ness for the next few hundred years, shall I? Or we can pop back and visit that one bloke, I can't quite remember his name right now, something starting with a W or R or perhaps a B, and then keep on visiting, also for the next few hundred years! I can also go find just a few of those planets where men wear kilts, and bring them back for a little visit!"

"Is it just me, or are you acting like more of a child than you were when you looked like you'd just taken your GCSEs?"

"I wouldn't know! I just regenerated!" He knocks something over, creating an incredible racket, and seizes the waistcoat again.

"When will you know?"

"I don't know!"

"But it takes longer than three days?"

"It takes you humans a whole lifetime to figure out yourselves!"

"Could you please sound more condescending and insulting when you say 'you humans', Doctor?"

"Absolutely, yes!"

"That was sarcasm!"

"I still don't know who I am!"

"Well, could you try to be less insulting until we've determined your character traits in addition to sarcasm?" Clara sighs and thumps her head against the wall. "I miss the old version of you. The young version. The... oh, you're not even listening, are you?"

"You want the one with the bowtie and the chin and no eyebrows?" The Doctor asks in a suddenly soft voice, appearing from behind an enormous rack of dresses.

"He's a little easier to deal with," she retorts, trying to hide her surprise.

"Oh." He looks down. "I'm sorry, Clara."

"What are you wearing?"

"I'm not finished dressing yet." He tugs on the waistcoat. "Need more layers."

"I like it," she tells him, looking at the dark red trousers, white dress shirt, and brown waistcoat.

"Oh, well, I truly do need more layers, but thank you." He smiles at her before approaching and gently putting one finger under her chin. She looks up at him uncertainly. "You've seen enough to not question that I'm the Doctor, Clara, but you might not have seen how absolutely rubbish I am at regenerations, especially the time shortly afterward. I'm sorry."

"It's all right."

"It's not, but it's very kind of you to say so." He bounces away from her. "I won't be a minute."

"Why do you get sick after you regenerate, anyway?" Clara asks after a relatively quiet moment. He's pulling clothes off hangers and than putting them back up, the rustling the only sound she can hear in the wardrobe.

"Every single cell is destroyed and reformed."

"Oh, I see. That's not hard or painful at all, then." She cocks her head and waits, arms folded.

There is a pause in the rustling. "Clara, are you getting me back for something?"

"Hmmm, maybe."

"Cheeky girl." He chuckles, and she hears heavy cloth brushing against its neighbors. "Hmm, no, not that one."

"Does it hurt a great deal, then?"

"It tends to hurt a fair bit, yes. I must admit that it depends on how injured I am and what's killing me."

"Oh. I'm sorry."

"Please, Clara, oh, truly, please don't be. It's what I am."

"Is this the worst you've been after a regeneration?" She inquires after another pause. There is a small, choked sound, and a moment later the Doctor peers around some trousers, his face almost as ashen as when he collapsed in the console room over three days ago.

His lips move a few times before he can articulate a word. "Why?"

"I was just... wondering?"

"That depends on your definition of 'worst'. You know... oh, Clara, you know what can happen."

"He was different?" Her voice is lilted in a question. She's still not quite sure of that one.

His forehead doesn't wrinkle much, but suddenly the muscles near his nose and across his cheekbones are taut, his lips set thinly, and she braces one arm behind her at the look of fury and remembered pain, and a flash of murderous rage. "Not as different as the rest of myself would like to think."

"Have you passed out in the console room before?" Clara is trembling, and tries to change the subject.

His lips quirk up. "Yes, actually."

"Any other post-regenerative adventures I should know about?"

"I've stumbled around a city that, hmm, I suppose it existed by some definition of the word, and I once tried to choke one of my companions, and I hid a UNIT doctor in a closet so I could take care of some threat or other, and.... oh, ah, yes. I once regenerated very late and then escaped from a morgue." He lifts both eyebrows, looking more mirthful.

"I don't believe you."

"It's true."

"Can we go back to the choking for a moment? You're not going to..."

"Um, no, I don't think so?" He runs a hand through his hair. "I'm still not quite sure what came over me, but she forgave me, and we grew to quite like each other."

"Didn't your other companions try to stop you?"

He flinches before he answers. "Peri and I were alone at the time. In my defense, I had been poisoned not too long after I believed I had killed my best enemy, so I wasn't exactly on top form."

"All right," she nods slowly. "You escaped from a morgue?"

He groans and rubs his face with one hand. "Clara, I've no doubt this is entertaining, but I'd like to spend my time somewhere other than the wardrobe?"

"You've been in the infirmary," she points out in a helpful tone.

"That is not what I meant!" He growls, and vanishes among the clothes again.

"I'm just trying to be accurate," she protests, with an expression of innocence.

"Have I told you how cheeky you've been since I regenerated?"

"Yes, but you may tell me again, if you like."

"Hmph," he snorts. "Oooh." There is a soft whisper of fabric. "Math dha-rìribh!"

"Does that mean you like it?"

"Yes, yes, perhaps."

"May I see it?"

"Don't be so impatient."

"I've been waiting ages for you to decide what to wear. I thought that was more a girl thing?"

"When you travel as much as I do, your wardrobe achieves a very healthy variety of options." His quick footsteps are muffled.

"Did you just run?"

"Yes."

"For a piece of clothing. Were you worried it was going to run off?"

"That's not unheard of," he answers dryly. "Ah, yes. Yes. Clara, I hope you approve, or we'll be in here for much longer."

"You've not changed back to the circus costume, have you? Or the kilt?"

"No, though I think the kilt will be quite acceptable for some days." He sticks a hand beyond the clothes and waves at her. "Are you quite prepared?"

"I'm sitting comfortably, thank you."

He strides into full view, and she starts a little at how much difference the additions have made in his appearance. The dark, full fabric has made him look quite handsome, and he does look as though his taste in clothing is a bit eccentric for her era of Earth, but the overall effect is the appearance of a gentleman, poised and elegant and a bit tall and rather innocuous-looking. He smiles at her expression.

"This meets with your approval, then, Clara?"

"You look very dignified," she answers, still looking at him.

"Oh, dear, in that case..." he makes as if to turn and head back amongst the clothes.

"No, no, no, don't change your clothes?"

"I can't look dignified."

"I'm sure you'll break the illusion somehow by doing something with that hat, or talking too much." But she can't help her grin.

"Oh, well, then, shall we go somewhere?"

"Yes, please?"

"We might just go to the console room for now. Is that all right?" He steps up to her, and gazes down, eyes dancing.

"Yes."

He offers her his arm, and she uses it to pull herself upright, then chuckles a little at the look on his face. "Sorry." She extends her arm, and he tucks it under his, then pats her hand.

"Da iawn!" He grins, and half-runs to the door. She laughs. "Let us explore the TARDIS, Clara Oswald! Andiamo!"

As they leave, he glances back over one shoulder, very briefly. There is a black robe and heavy silver-lined collar standing on a display where he had appeared from behind the other garments to show Clara his new outfit.

"Andiamo!" Clara echoes, and they laugh when the TARDIS detours them into the kitchen before letting them onto the console room for possible adventuring.

He grins at her as he changes the coordinates to random, but the image stays in his mind.
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