It spans across time and space in a way not even he knows. A boy and his box. A fairytale, a bedtime story.
His eyes are old and his face is young.
And he has all this left to come.
And after all, adventure runs in this family.
All because of him.
When I was a child, my favorite story was about a man who fall from the stars, but whose eyes were heavy with the weight of all he had seen. Well, that’s not quite it. The favorite was about a man not exactly human but more human than any on this earth. About a man who crashed into a garden shed and tried his best to help a little girl with a crack in her wall. Even if he was a bit late. All because she was scared. Even after she grew up. And he took her, and her “meant to be” all across the universe. To stars long dead and worlds not yet built. A man who was just a bit mad and his box. A man too young and too old. Who’d loved and lost so much. With eyes for too old. 1000 years old he is.
No, the favorite story goes like this. A man who loves and loses but continues on helping anyway. Who spent two hundred years on a cloud and sent them home for their own good. The favorite is a boy and his box, off to see the universe. Always. A man with two hearts. Who travels the stars. Clara brings him home one day. And he’s not a day older physically. Young as ever. Frozen until he dies again. But his eyes are old as ever. Like in the 60 years since she’s seen him, he has lived another 500. Maybe he has. You never know with him. But that’s not the point of this story. The point, is that Clara brought him home. The raggedy Doctor. She wonders if he knows it’s her. If he knows who he’s really with. She doesn’t know if she wants him to. She hopes he doesn’t see her. And truth be told, he didn’t have time too. He ran out so fast. Forgot he was wearing halo-graphic clothes. Classic doctor. And Clara runs after him. She calls him her boyfriend. Though she knows it’s not quite true, they are both less and more than that word implies. She’s gone less than a minute. But she comes back in near tears. Who knows how long she was gone for. But that old blue box is outside and the Doctor is no where in sight. So he’s playing the hero, he sent her back.
She knows what it’s like being the one who waits. Cause while the doctor got traveling, she got busy. (And when he comes back, she’s not going to be sure whether to hug him or hit him.) She found her husband. She wrote a few books. She got a job. She moved to England from New York. Met with her grown up daughter and adopted and raised another child. She lost her husband and helped raise her granddaughter, Clara. Told her of all the places she could travel and the people she would met. She should have known she’d meet the doctor. She’d known from the day her daughter, Clara’s mother, died that the Doctor would be a part of her life. And Clara found him. Parts of her are warring with her self. Happy the doctor found someone. Happy Clara got to meet the best man in the universe. Or angry he put Clara in danger. Angry he didn’t recognize her. Though to be fair, she didn’t look much like herself anymore. But she still wears her ring. And she’s going to wait again. Because she knows where the Doctor is. And he’s going to come back.
(A part of her wonders if he ever read it, she left him more than just the afterword after all. She left him a clue, to run and remember, Clara’s clue. Though, she didn’t know it was Clara at the time. She wonders if Clara knows who she is to the Doctor yet…)
And sure enough, with the poem Clara goes running off again. And she thinks she knows where their going. Trenzalore and the Doctor’s death. But he’ll survive, he always does. But he’ll be back with a different face next time. She’s sure of it. She wonders how the others will take that. Because his eyes are older than ever. He’s lost so much. He’s aged. But he seems so much happier, like a weights been lifted off his shoulders. It’s hope. It’s the look he got when he saved River and faked his death. It’s the Doctor finding his own way around the universe’s plans for him. So much older, but so much happier. Clara too. Like she’s swimming after treading water for so long.
(Since her mother’s death, the day everything changed. The day the manniquins attacked)
And he’s going to bring her home. And he’s going to see her one last time. Just like she’s always told him. And Clara is going to read her book again and realize. The Doctor is going to make the connections and come running. (Chapter 11’s the best after all) Because she’s waited her whole life, nothing new there. Amy Pond is going to see her Doctor again.
(And her fairytale really is starting to look like Peter Pan isn’t it? Amy waits, and the Doctor comes to take her daughter.)
But they don’t know, not yet. And she’ll wait. For the man with old eyes and the girl who saved him. In more ways than even she knows.