dolevalan: (surest way to a man's heart)
[personal profile] dolevalan
Title: Strangers
Fandom/original: original
Rating: PGish for creepitude
A/N: The prompt, from [livejournal.com profile] rougen, was "second thoughts." 15 minutes.



She wasn't his Clara.

He'd known, of course, that she wouldn't be. That had always been the plan. His Clara, after all, was dead. And the farther away she started, the easier to bring her into...

He had a plan for a reason.

Still, there was a difference between knowing that she wouldn't be the same, and seeing it for himself. It was evident in the way she held herself, the way she spoke with her partner. He could see it in her dreams.

It made it strangely difficult. She was the woman he knew, but at the same time, she was a stranger. He'd already had to adjust the plan a few times - it was harder to calculate what she'd do.

Clara looked peaceful, as she slept. This woman didn't know what nightmares were, not the way his version had. Her cropped gold hair splayed across the pillow. Her posture was relaxed, easy.

He wouldn't be stupid enough to underestimate her, even like this. But there was an undeniable lack of discipline, and an enhanced grace to her.

Watching her breathe, he considered. What was coming, he had no doubt, would still work. Riskier than his original plan, but the rewards would be correspondingly greater. There were some details to see to. But he had little doubt, in the end, it would work.

Did he still want it to?

He considered whether he would proceed if the woman in the bed were transformed into his own Clara. Strength replacing ease, honed skill replacing raw potential. Would he do to her what he was about to do to this woman?

No, he finally decided, dispassionately. He would not. But then, if she were his Clara, none of this would be necessary in the first place.

The point was moot.

She sighed, and turned over in her sleep. His resolution was set. He resisted the urge to touch her mind. It was not his to touch, not now. Instead, he took one last, long look, and departed.

There was work to be done.

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Estelle

January 2012

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