In A Family Way
Laser fire was erupting all around them as the Doctor and Clara dashed across the open field. The Time Lord quickly spotted a large, rocky outcrop. He grabbed his human fiancee by the wrist and pulled her behind the outcrop with him. "You had to annoy their Queen!" Clara said with an annoyed tone in her voice.
"How was I to know that commenting on their horrendous drape scheme was high treason?" the Doctor retorted.
"Whatever." Clara sighed. She looked off into the distance and asked, "How far away from the TARDIS?"
"About 100 meters." the Doctor replied.
"100 more meters of dodging laser fire." Clara said with a groan. "Great. Just great."
"Well, on the bright side, at least the Royal Guard consists solely of people who couldn't hit the broad side of a Jorthax." the Doctor provided.
"What's a Jorthax? You know what? Never mind." Clara said. "Okay, get ready to run."
"All right." the Doctor replied. "We'll take off in 3, 2, 1! RUN!"
The Doctor bolted and Clara dashed after him. As their feet ate up the distance to the TARDIS, the Doctor felt a burst of heat as a laser blast narrowly missed his ear, instead singeing his hair and leaving a sunburn-like burn on part of the left side of his face. As the pair sprinted through the thick fog, the Doctor spotted the TARDIS about 15 meters away. "There it is!" the Doctor shouted. "We're almost there!"
"Thank goodness!" Clara exclaimed.
Ten more meters to go. Nine more meters. Eight more meters. Seven more meters. Six more meters. Five more meters. Four more meters. Three more meters. Two more meters. One more meter and... there! The Doctor quickly unlocked the door, opened it, and quickly entered, followed immediately afterwards by Clara. The human female shut the door and it latched behind her. The two of them could hear the sounds of the Royal Guard attempting to break down the door, not that they would succeed. The timeship was a veritable fortress. The Doctor quickly accessed the console, entering a series of commands before pulling a lever and sending them into the vortex. Clara laughed and flung her arms around the Doctor, hugging him tightly. The Time Lord, not thinking of his occasional distaste of hugs, threw his arms around his fiancee and twirled around, lifting her feet off the ground as he spun in a circle. Once he set her down, she took his face in her hands, pulled him down to her level, and pressed her lips to his. The Doctor raised his brow, caught somewhat off guard. When Clara released him, she grinned broadly at him. The Doctor smiled back at her. His fiancee burst into giggles. Once she got herself back under control, she cleared her throat and said, "Well, I suppose that crosses one potential venue for our wedding off the list. No thanks to you."
"Again, not my fault." The Doctor defended himself. "'Don't complain about the decor' was not on the list of rules of conduct displayed outside of the throne room."
"Well, I suppose not." Clara replied. "Still, I blame you."
"Well, we still have a few more options for locations on the list." the Doctor said. "We have a time machine, so we have plenty of time to find and select one."
"I suppose you're right. Clara agreed. She then said, "We'll get back to our search on Saturday. I have work tomorrow and I need you to drop me off back at my flat."
"I still think that it's ridiculous to follow something as hum-drum as a schedule." The Doctor scoffed. "We have a time machine!"
"I don't want you to miss the date again." Clara replied. "I love you, but I have a job that I need to do."
"Places to go, adolescent humans to educate." The Doctor mused as he entered the coordinates to Clara's flat. "I suppose that someone has to keep their brains from turning to pudding."
"Quite." Clara said flatly.
When the TARDIS touched down, Clara headed to the exit. After opening the door, she turned to the Doctor and said, "See you on Saturday."
The Doctor smiled and waved at Clara. Once she left, the Time Lord turned back to the console and sent the TARDIS back into the vortex. He then licked his lips. He could still taste Clara on his lips. She tasted different than usual. It was oddly familiar. He was certain that he had tasted it before. He had tasted it long ago. He knew that he had. For the life of him, he couldn't place it. The Doctor shook his head, dismissing the thought. He'd figure it out later.
The Doctor and Clara sat together, watching the musicians playing on stage. The Time Lord was wearing a nicely fitted suit with a rather lovely TARDIS-blue necktie. Clara was wearing a matching bodycon dress that went down to mid-thigh and a pair of strappy, silver wedge sandals. The human female looked up at the Time Lord and grinned. "I can't believe that you managed to get us box seats." she said, equal parts pleased and surprised.
"The owner of the theatre owes me a favor." the Doctor replied. "I may have rescued his great-grandfather from giant, man-eating hamsters a few regenerations ago."
"You 'may have'?" Clara questioned.
"Well, it could have been giant, man-eating gerbils." the Doctor amended.
"Only you would run into a situation involving giant, man-eating rodents." Clara chuckled.
"Well, at least it wasn't shape-shifting cannibal supermodels again. Leticia was a vicious one." the Doctor replied. He then let out a nostalgic sigh and added, "Amazing kisser, though, and no one could make a club sandwich quite like her." He cleared his throat. "Never trust a woman who can single-handedly disassemble a cow carcass in less than ten minutes, has more than one humanoid skull in her bedroom, and won't let you look at her freezer, Clara."
"You kissed a shape-shifting cannibal supermodel?" Clara questioned.
"She kissed me." the Doctor replied. I did not have sex with that woman."
"I never said you did." Clara said with a raised brow.
"Well, at least nothing that legally counted as sex on that planet." the Doctor added awkwardly.
Clara smirked at the Doctor and asked, "Have a few kinks that I don't know about, Doctor?
The Doctor leaned over and whispered, "Several."
Clara shuddered with excitement. She then turned to the Doctor and said, "After this show is over, I am absolutely going to wreck you."
The Doctor smirked and asked, "Why wait until the show is over?"
When intermission started, Clara stood up and grabbed the Doctor's necktie. "I saw a rather nice coat closet on the way up here." she said.
"To the coat closet, then." the Time Lord smirked.
Clara returned that smirk and began to leave, the Doctor's necktie still in hand. He eagerly allowed his fiancee to lead him away. He could hear the coat closet calling their names.
Just before the end of intermission, the Doctor and Clara attempted to smooth out their disheveled appearances and tousled hair before leaving the coat closet. The Time Lord gave the human female one last deep, lingering kiss before leaving the coat closet with her. On the way back to the box seats, the Doctor licked his lips. He could taste that oddly familiar taste again and this time it was slightly stronger. Just what was that taste and why couldn't he identify it?
The Doctor, to his surprise, discovered that Clara could run surprisingly well in heels. Security was currently after them, much to the Time Lord's annoyance. "This is not my fault." Clara said.
"I know, but slapping him certainly didn't help." the Doctor replied.
"It's ridiculous. It shouldn't be illegal to refuse the Duke of Grazzlegrot's marriage proposal just because I'm not currently married." Clara said angrily.
"You still shouldn't have slapped him." The Doctor scolded her.
"Well, you shouldn't have punched him." Clara argued.
"He made inappropriate comments regarding my potency and he tried to steal my fiancee." the Doctor argued back.
"Just shut up and run." Clara said with a scowl.
When they arrived and escaped in the TARDIS, the Doctor gave Clara a quick peck on the lips. He then licked his lips once again. "Well, look on the bright side." he said.
"What's the bright side?" Clara asked.
"At least now we have a band for the wedding." the Doctor replied.
The Doctor still couldn't identify the sudden change in Clara's taste.
"So, where are we going on this particular Saturday?" Clara asked later that week.
"The Palace of Emerald Light in the Crystal Vale, a rather lovely place on a planet called Shanta, otherwise known as the World of Endless Gemstones." the Doctor replied. "In the year 750Y, when the Palace of Emerald Light had turned into a popular hotel."
"Sounds lovely." Clara said with a smile.
"Indeed." The Doctor smiled back. He began to enter the coordinates and explained, "It's on the list of potential places to hold our wedding."
"Anything we're going to have to worry about?" Clara asked.
"Not really." the Doctor replied. "The last known conflict on Shanta was in the year 950X. It was the worst and only war ever to take place on that planet. We'll have to ride Hufabeasts there. They're basically three-eyed donkeys with fangs as long as my index finger."
"Well, let's get going, then." Clara said with a grin. "Let's go to the Palace of Emerald Light!"
Clara sat down on one of the benches in the jail cell with a sigh. "Great. Just great."
"It's not that bad." the Doctor argued. "There's a 50% chance that they won't execute us."
"You still landed us in the worst and only war ever to happen on Shanta," Clara huffed, "800 years before you were supposed to go to reach the hotel in the Palace of Emerald Light."
"Again, not that bad." the Doctor said.
"There's a 50% chance that we'll be executed!" Clara pointed out.
"There's also a 50% chance that we won't be executed." the Time Lord pointed out.
"Show us your tits!" Another prisoner yelled from the next cell over.
"Shut up!" Clara snapped.
"I have an idea for a plan." the Doctor suddenly said.
"What's the plan?" Clara asked.
The Time Lord leaned in to whisper in his fiancee's ears. "My sonic is in the guard's pocket. If you distract the guard, I should be able to get it so we can escape."
"Are you sure this will work?" Clara asked.
"I'm 87.358% certain that it will work." the Doctor replied.
"Only 87%?" Clara questioned.
"An 87.358% chance of escape is better than a 50% chance of being executed." the Doctor said.
"Well, you have a point." Clara sighed.
"All right." the Doctor said. "I'll need you to distract him in 3... 2... 1."
The Doctor was still frowning when he closed the TARDIS' door behind him. "I can't believe you did that." he huffed.
"Well, you said to provide a distraction." Clara said.
"Did you have to show him your breasts?" the Doctor asked, still scowling.
"It was the first thing that came to mind!" Clara defended herself.
"You couldn't think of anything else?" the Doctor groaned.
"I panicked!" Clara argued. "You only gave me three seconds to come up with something. It worked, didn't it?"
"It did work." the Doctor huffed. "That doesn't mean that I have to be happy about it."
"Well, we're back in the TARDIS." Clara said, trying to be positive. "Now we can try to get reservations at the Palace of Emerald Light."
The Doctor nodded and headed over to the console. He entered in some commands before going completely still. "There's going to be a problem with that." the Doctor said awkwardly.
"Can't get a reservation?" Clara inquired.
"Worse." the Doctor replied. "For the next ten years after 750Y, the Palace of Emerald Light will be booked solid by a succession of increasingly more disgusting furries. Its reputation will be completely ruined and in 765Y, it will be replaced by a McDonalds. It will be the best McDonalds in the entire quadrant, but it won't be a hotel anymore. I've tried the lamb burger there."
"We should go there some time." Clara said. "After the wedding, of course. Like you keep saying, we have plenty of time. You have a time machine, after all."
"Fifteen venues down," the Doctor said, "five more to go."
When they returned to Clara's flat, the human gave the Time Lord a goodbye kiss before leaving. The Doctor licked his lips. The identity of the difference in taste was literally at the tip of his tongue.
The Doctor held Clara's hair back as she emptied her stomach into the porcelain waste-disposal device. Once she had regained control of her stomach, she let out a groan. "I hate getting sick."
"Gastroenteritis, no doubt." the Doctor said, releasing Clara's hair.
The human female sat up and wiped her mouth with a square of toilet paper before flushing it and standing up. The Doctor watched her wash her hands. He couldn't help but feel sympathetic. Gastroenteritis was no fun. He also hated seeing Clara so miserable. "I think I need to go to the sofa." she grumbled.
"Rest on the sofa, then." the Doctor said as he led Clara out of the bathroom and to her destination.
Once she was there, she sat down. "I'll make you some tea and put a movie on for you." the Time Lord offered.
"Tea sounds lovely." Clara replied. "I just got Netflix, though. I can pick my own movie."
The Doctor nodded gave Clara a peck on the cheek before heading to the kitchen to prepare the wonderful beverage. Tea was the answer to everything. The Doctor paused and shook his head. No. Tea was the question. The answer was always 'yes'. In no time, the Time Lord finished preparing the tea. He had prepared it just the way Clara liked it. One splash milk, no sugar. He then carried the tea, the wonderful elixir of life, over to his ailing fiancee. When he got there, she was watching a fantasy romantic comedy. The Doctor handed the cup to Clara and while he was at her level, she gave him a kiss on the lips. The two shared a smile and the Doctor sat down next to her. While she was focused on the movie, he licked his lips. He could almost figure it out. Suddenly, he realized what the difference in taste was. Her taste was altered by the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin, otherwise known as hCG. The Doctor's eyes widened dramatically. His keen sense of taste was never wrong and the presence of human chorionic gonadatropin could only mean one thing.
Clara Oswald was pregnant.