Really, he should have seen it coming. Given Clara’s extra-wide head, it was always inevitable that one day her tiny human body would overbalance and she would end up crashing to the floor-slash-ground-slash-mud they found themselves stood on as they raced across the galaxy. He just hadn’t expected it to be Scottish ground, or, more specifically... Scottish fountain.
He’d tried to indulge her with something relatable and human, and so they’d found themselves at Gleneagles one sunny summer afternoon - the perks of having a time machine meant the weather was nearly always perfect for them. Clara had leapt onto the edge of the fountain, agile as a cat, keeping her travel mug of iced coffee in hand as she walked along the narrow edge, placing one foot in front of the other with meticulous precision.
“Get down,” he’d scoffed. “Someone will see, and we’ll get asked to leave.”
Of course, that hadn’t been his actual reasoning; getting thrown out of places was kind of their MO, and it had never stopped them breaking back in once they’d been kicked out. His actual request was based upon the fact that Clara’s legs were now more or less on a level with his face, which would have been fine were she wearing her usual winter tights, or better yet, jeans. Only it was July, and it was warm, and he was trying gallantly not to think the words ‘shapely calves,’ but... that. Damn his companion’s predilection for woefully short summer dresses.
“Clara, you’ll fall in.”
He’d rolled his eyes and made to head off, and it was then that it had happened. He hadn’t seen it, per se, but he’d heard her flailing and then the enormous, unmissable splash that had followed. (Which, in turn, was followed by rather a lot of swearing. Did her students know she could swear like that?)
He hovered awkwardly where he was, caught between wanting to help, the worry of being pulled in himself, and having to contend with a small, wet, angry English teacher. There may also have been a lingering concern about clinging fabric, but he was absolutely not going to entertain that mental im-
Clara rose from the water like some kind of... well, some kind of small, brunette, northern Venus. He’d seen the real thing, and aside from the clam shell and the considerable difference in their state of undress, he was fairly sure that the two were directly comparable.
Venus hadn’t been swearing quite that much, though. And if he was being really, properly pedantic, she’d come out of the sea, not a dubiously-clean fountain in Scotland.
Clara stood there, dripping, with water running down her face and her hair plastered to her scalp and her dress... oh, Jesus, he would have to have words with her about that. Major words. Very major words, once he’d remembered how to close his mouth.
“Can you stop perving and start helping?” Clara asked, raising her eyebrows, and he turned a furious shade of maroon.
“I’m not... I wasn’t... I mean... how dare you... I would never...”
“Shut up, you prat,” she said fondly, placing both hands on the edge of the fountain and pulling herself out with far more grace than was strictly fair. As she leant back against the offending item of garden design, he made a concerted effort to drag his gaze away from her legs and instead settled his gaze on the overly large puddle at her feet.
“Are you alright?” he asked the browning turf that was probably rather appreciative of said puddle.
“Damp,” she said cheerfully, yanking off a trainer and tipping it up. “But alive.”
“Good,” he mumbled. “That’s... good.”
“You can look at me, you know.”
“Can’t. Too pretty.”
“Shut up,” she said in surprise, but she sounded pleased. “I am not.”
“You know you are,” he shot back, looking up and meeting her gaze for the first time. “Egomaniac.”
“Yeah, alright. Can we banter back in the TARDIS? Kind of soggy, here.”