How I wish I can lean over and whisper my name in her ear. The thought of satisfying her desire, whilst relieving me of the weight of carrying the most valuable secret in history, almost allows the words to escape my lips. However, telling her would be like setting off a bomb; it would unavoidably bring disaster, destruction and devastation. I'm meant to be the healer, not the destroyer. The doctor, not the murderer. I would not be a 'wise man' at all if I reveal the answer to the most powerful, and most dangerous, question in the universe.
Burying the words I cannot say deep within my soul, I look Clara straight in the eyes. I need her to understand. “Clara," I begin. “If I could possibly tell you, believe me, I would. But I know things, secrets that have never been told. Knowledge that must never be spoken. Knowledge that will make parasite Gods blaze.That question, and consequently my name, is one of those secrets.” I search her face for signs of anger, but instead it relaxes, as if she's suddenly realised something.
“It’s okay. I shouldn’t have asked. I should’ve known that if you could tell me, you would. But I don’t even care, you know? I don’t care what your name is. You are more than a word. Just... just promise that you’ll remember me.” She says, a weak grin forming against her flushed cheeks.
“That, I promise.” I assure her, smiling at my trusted companion. The girl that has protected me throughout the generations, and let her last wish slip because she knew it would cause pain.
Yet the brutal irony torments me: I cannot even tell The Impossible Girl the answer to The Impossible Question.
“I wont keep you suffering any longer. I know-” she wobbles, her lower lip trembling as she gulps and continues. “I know that it’s time for you to, for you to go. Goodbye, Doctor.”
Reaching out, I stroke away her tears and simultaneously, she whispers something in my ear. The first phrase she ever said to me whilst trapped in a Dalek.
Then, just before she died.
And now, just before I do.
“Run, you clever boy. And remember.”
I will remember, Clara. I will.
My eyes are still locked on hers as a burning light begins to curl around me, seeping into each limb. The soft voice of the TARDIS echoes in the air and soon the words are like a tsunami, crashing through each section of my brain whilst mingling with the thudding of my heartbeat.
‘So now it’s time for one last bow. Like all your other selves. Eleventh hour is over now. The clock is striking twelve. The twelfth regeneration’.
All at once, everything intensifies and consumes me. The golden burning shoots from the TARDIS and engulfs my hands, my face, my body. The bittersweet, dusty scent of Gallifrey, my home planet, tangoes along my taste buds and flows through my nostrils. It rushes through my blood, warm and fast.
The violent energy released sends me reeling backwards although this time, I don’t resist. I let the power that created me take me away from Clara, away from planet earth, towards The Door. However, before I open it and join my past carnations, I gaze down at Clara, and the new Doctor.