He lands on Varva.
He’d been aiming for Oslo, 1901, but the Tardis has been unbalanced of late, and she keeps taking him to places he doesn’t mean to go.
(or maybe, it’s him that’s unbalanced. every time he flicks a switch, he feels the faint echo of somebody standing next to him, flicking another)
So, instead of the first Nobel Peace Prize, he ends up on a planet locked in an endless civil war between the two poles.
Only, as he exits the Tardis and walks down the street she’s materialised in, it becomes clear that something’s changed. The street is clean and whole, full of people walking without fear, and children running and laughing.
He reaches out and grabs one as she runs past.
“Hey,” she yelps, but he ignores her, and crouches down to her level, looking at her intently.
“What happened here?” he asks, and the girl cocks her head to the side, eyes wide and it reminds him of-
“With the war,” he clarifies.
“Don’t you know?” she says, with all the arrogance of youth. “Everybody knows.”
“Yeah, well I’m old. Explain.”
“A stranger fell from the sky,” she says, voice hushed with awe, “and stopped the war.”
“Oh,” he says, and he lets her go.
As she runs over to her friends, he thinks, I must get round to doing that.
Several trips later, he lands on Kruos, on purpose this time.
It’s somewhere he’s meaning to go for a while actually, a snow covered planet right at the edge of its solar system, with naturally formed ice crystals the size of mountains jutting out at random intervals. It’s said to be beautiful, especially in the hour or so of sunlight that the planet receives once every two thousand years, when the light refracts off the ice mountains, creating planet wide rainbows.
He’s landed at the edge of one those times, right when the light is starting to leave. It's millions of years before this planet is found and colonised but as he steps out of the Tardis, he notices something in the corner of his eye.
It’s still beautiful, but it seems to lose some of its majesty, being the second visitor to see it. Makes it seem almost sad.
(or maybe it’s both. maybe it’s sad and beautiful)
He hopes he enjoyed it more the first time around.
He’s still looking for her of course, for Clara, but it’s hard when all he has is a name and the absence of a person and the faint sense that he’s done this before (he thinks she was kind and brave and clever, but then again, he thinks they all were) and he starts taking passengers again.
He says, only one trip, to all of them, and he means it.
(mostly; he always was good at stretching rules, especially his own)
He’s been sticking to 21st century England for too long, he thinks, so he finds people in the far flung future and on different planets and in different galaxies.
(he finds people in the distant past and they call his science magic. he was a magician once, wasn’t he?)
Sometimes he finds people saving themselves and saving him and they don’t know him, don’t recognise him, but they talk of a warrior, of a tired joker with fire in her eyes (her?), of a reluctant saviour, and he leaves them behind, because they’ve clearly met him before and he’s trying to avoid crossing his own timeline.
(and he’s so tired of people knowing him better then he knows himself)
He goes to Cardiff, to refuel, and for a second he can hear the Tardis’ noise in stereo, as if, as he’s arriving, another Tardis is leaving.
(how careless of him to cut it that close)