Author: Isilien Elenihin
Warnings: Explicit sex, swearing
Word Count: 17391
Author’s Summary: The TARDIS locks the Ninth Doctor out in modern-day London. While he’s investigating a puzzling knot in the Time Lines, he runs into Rose Tyler, who’s going back to school to get her A levels. What if there was no ‘run?’
Genre: Alternate Universe, Angst, Character Study, Drama, Het, Hurt/Comfort, Introspection, Romance, Standalone
Characters/Pairings: Ninth Doctor/Rose, the TARDIS
This is the first fic this week that I’m not reccing for the sex (though there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it ;)). This is an AU where the Doctor ends up stuck in London, and to have something to do he takes a job as a teacher and guess who ends up in his class?
Some of you may recall the uproar a few weeks where Doctor Who was accused of being a racist show. While one may have different opinions on that, I don’t think anyone can argue the fact that Doctor Who only rarely examines the problems of gender, race, sexuality, class and general privilege.
Which is why I find fics that delve into the probable realities of Rose’s poor, working-class background especially interesting. We know that Jimmy Stone was a rotten egg, but he’s especially nasty in this fic (prepare your hankies). However, Rose’s good humor and lust for life really shines through in this fic, and is even more poignant considering how rough her life has been.
They’re studying Shakespeare when he first notices her. She stumbles over the words, but once she understands what Will is trying to say she’s remarkably quick in understanding what he means, which is why he’s surprised when she does poorly on an exam. In discussion she’s vibrant and sure and she holds her own. Unlike Shireen she’s serious about getting her A-levels, unlike Shireen, he thinks, she wants to get out of the estate, wants to do something with her life.
He leaves the test face-down on her desk with ‘see me’ written on the front. There are things he should be doing, problems he should be solving, but–it’s nice to affect change without having to blow something up or doom a species to extinction or even bother with local law enforcement. Sometimes it takes years for his changes to come to fruition (years that he doesn’t have to spend waiting for a thank you or even an acknowledgment) but he can see the influence he’s having on these kids. And it’s nice (but it doesn’t change his destination, doesn’t weaken his resolve because he’s decided).
When Rose hangs back at the end of class she’s hesitant, more uncertain than he’s ever seen her (and granted he’s had limited experience with her but the day she fails to speak her mind he’s pretty sure the sun will fail to rise out of sheer amazement). She’s wearing her hair over her face today and it seems odd, like she’s hiding.
“You wanted to see me, Dr. Smith?” He really should think of a better name, but John Smith has served him well enough in the past (and it’s not like he’s going to need a name, where he’s going). She’s looking at him a little odd and the Doctor realizes that she was talking, just there, and he missed it.
“Yes, Miss Tyler.” He waves at the chair next to his desk and she sits. He leans back in his chair and watches her for a minute (long enough for her to fidget) before he holds out his hand for her test. She gives it to him, her teeth worrying her bottom lip. He hates the stilted formality that accompanies the education system, as if keeping that extra distance between teacher and student ever did anyone any good. But he isn’t here to fix the system, he’s here to make sure that whatever needs to happen to keep the universe ticking happens.
“We’ve gone over this in class,” he reminds her gently.
She looks down, ashamed. “Yeah, I know.”
“Then what’s the problem? You’re clever, Rose.” Her first name slips out like it belongs on his lips. “I know you can get this.”
Her lips twist in frustration. “It’s these words–I dunno what half of them mean, and reading it just–it doesn’t work.”
I apologize for the lack of post the last two days, I’ve been on the road and not connected to the internet. On Monday I’m going to France and I’m not sure how much internet access I’ll have there, but I’ll try to post as often as I can!
Without further ado, I give you today’s rec:
Author: Kate Andrews
Warnings: Explicit sex, mild drug use
Word Count: 5570
Author’s Summary: There was, as it turned out, a handful of only slightly bruised rose petals hiding down the front of her knickers.
Characters/Pairings: Tenth Doctor/Rose,
Continuing the sex theme, I give you my absolute favorite sex fic, my go-to-fic, as it were.. It’s a wonderful one-shot set in Amsterdam, and features in the author’s words “explicit, slightly kinky sex” which means the Doctor and Rose shag in public on one of Amsterdam’s many bridges. Guess what I was thinking about when I was in Amsterdam in April!
Petals is a bit like those photographs that are so sharp and detailed that they seem almost otherwordly. I’d call it magical realism except there’s nothing remotely magical about it, but somehow it feels almost like a dream.
Kate Andrews has a very plain, no-nonsense writing style, she describes everything inexquisite detail but lets the reader draw his or her own conclusions on the feelings and thoughts of the characters’ actions. A true masterpiece in the art of “show, don’t tell.”
Go read and give her some love.
She approached, bit the strawberry he held up for her, then opened her hand and sprinkled the petals next to his plate.
He chewed and swallowed the remainder of his mouthful. Then he rinsed his mouth out with champagne, selected a petal with great care and smiled up at her as he put it on his tongue.
“You’re not supposed to—” She cut herself off and just shook her head. After draining her champagne flute and watching him savor the rose petal for far longer than was necessary, she said, “It’s like traveling with a two-year-old. Must you put everything in your mouth?”
He nodded, tongue still obviously moving inside his mouth.
“Those are from in my knickers, by the way,” she said.
He swallowed. “I can tell. Well, I know they were in someone’s knickers, I hoped yours.” He reached for another.
She swept the pile off the table. “You’re—I’d say perverted, but maybe this is normal for your race.”
He looked down wistfully at the petals on the floor, then picked up a crispy strip of bacon. “One of the benefits of being the last of my kind. I am the norm.” He took a bite, crunched, and swallowed. “I am the mean, the median and the mode.”
She sat and picked a strawberry from the bowl. Then she dipped it in the melting whipped cream and licked that off. She did it again because it was good stuff, real whipped heavy cream, sweet and buttery. Third time, she finally sunk her teeth in and when she opened her eyes, the Doctor was just sitting there, staring at her, coffee cup motionless at his lips. “What?”
He took a gulp, then said, “Nothing at all.”
She wiped her mouth and stole a piece of toast from his plate. “Were you a pervert?”
“I’ve had my moments.” He finished the bacon and poured more champagne for himself and for her. “Come to think of it, I’ve had my incarnations.” He made eye contact with her and wiggled his eyebrows up and down.
Author: Value Turtle
Warnings: Explicit sex
Word Count: 27856
Author’s Summary: It’s weightless, on the cusp; thrilling, too, waiting for gravity to take effect and fall, fall, fall
Genre: Fluff, Het, Humor, PWP, Romance
Characters/Pairings: Tenth Doctor/Rose, Jackie Tyler, Mickey Smith
I’m sensing a theme for this rec-period.
To quote the lovely movie The Holiday: “Sex makes everything more complicated. Even not having it, because the not having it… makes it complicated.” Don’t the Doctor Who shippers know this well!
In this fic, however, Rose and the Doctor have sex. It details their first time, in great detail, and it’s one of those fics that actually gets sex, how it works and how it’s messy and complicated and not all sunshine and roses. And also that it’s fun. I think so many fic writers forget that not all sex is earth-shattering, but that it doesn’t mean it’s not good. And people enjoy it because it’s fun, not because it’s perfect.
One of my pet peeves is where people who sleep with each other don’t talk. Communication people! And Rose and the Doctor communicate here, and show that communication improves sex. I love to see that in fic.
Sorry for the ramble. Just read the fic and give the author some love!
Story: Needing Someone
Warnings: Explicit sex
Word Count: 5846
Author’s Summary: The Doctor and Donna are both grieving, and they turn to each other for comfort..
Genre: Angst, Hurt/Comfort, Missing Scene, PWP
Characters/Pairings: Tenth Doctor/Donna
Recced because: Donna Noble.
I tried to rec as many Doctor/Donna fics as I could last time, since I feel it’s the most underrated pairing and it deserves so much more love than it gets. Donna, if written right, has such potential in fics, both as a companion and as a romantic interest.
This is not a romance, per se, but a story of two people needing comfort and having only each other to turn to. Even though they’ve only just met, and know nothing of each other. Because sometimes, all we need is someone who understands. It touches on the incredible blow it must be to be betrayed by your fiancé at the altar, of Donna’s sometimes fragile self-esteem, the Doctor’s remoteness and his love for Rose and the loss of her. It also has a frank and insightful discussion about his feelings for Rose and best of all, it feels like it could have been canon, if Doctor Who was a show more aimed at adults.
She wondered if the Doctor’s loss was as recent as hers.
“How long has she been gone?” she asked gently.
“Weeks,” he answered, his voice barely audible. “But it took me all that time to figure out a mechanism to say goodbye. Just before you came aboard the TARDIS, I’d seen her… well, a sort of projection… for the last time ever…”
He looked just as grief-stricken as she herself felt. She remembered the purple jacket that had still been sitting there, weeks after his friend had left, and sympathy curled inside her. Reaching up, she ran a hand through his thick hair. His eyes fluttered shut, and he leaned into her hand a bit, then turned his head and kissed her palm. She leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his throat, and he made that little humming sound again.
“Donna,” he said, his voice taut, “I don’t—”
“I know you don’t.” She began stroking his back again, and beneath her hands he trembled. “I don’t, either. This is just… oh, I don’t know what it is. But I’m not young and innocent, and you don’t have to worry about sullying me, Doctor.”
I’m saaammie (Cicci Green at Teaspoon), your reccer for these two (!) weeks. It’s my second time reccing here at Calufrax and I enjoyed it a lot last time. It feels good to properly reflect on the stories I read, and why I want others to read them.
I’m a Swedish college student (or recent grad, actually), and I’ve been a Who-fan for about a year now. My favorite companion is Donna and my favorite genre is definitely hurt/comfort. I do enjoy torturing the poor characters.
Why is that, do you think? That hurt/comfort is such a popular genre?
Anyway. On to the first rec:
Story: Belle de Jour
Warnings: Explicit sex
Word Count: 10551
Author’s Summary: After the Madame de Pompadour interlude, Rose realizes that loving the Doctor is a far trickier affair than she thought. What kind of girl must she be, to accept the man he is now? Answering that question will stretch her loyalty—and her sanity—to the breaking point.
Characters/Pairings: Rose/Ten, TARDIS
Recced because: This fic shocked me when I first read it. And I actually didn’t like it very much, because it presents such a non-romantisized picture of the Doctor’s and Rose’s relationship. Partly why we all read fanfiction is to escape reality and dream, I think, and this fic’s reality is a slap in the face, a bucket of ice-water.
Which is what makes it so good, of course.
Rose is very very human and young and the Doctor is terrifyingly alien and it can’t ever really work out. But they make do. It’s a fic about choices and consequences and expectations and fitting together despite it.
Plus it’s seriously hot. Bring a fan.
There were fireworks the first time, shining spinning colors in the sky, in his eyes. His hands clutched her just as they do now, gentle but greedy as a boy’s. A lovely boy, this new Doctor, one who likes pop songs and cocktails and sweets. Who kissed her on a rooftop as the New Year chimed, then took her by the hand to lead her, laughing, to bed. After that the fireworks never stopped. Not till twelve hours ago.
She shivers as his mouth takes her neck, nibbling and licking, hot and hungry. “Fruits and flowers and soft young things,” he whispers. “You taste like Eden.” He spins her round and pulls her to her feet. His hands tug at cheap satin, find wet trembling flesh beneath. “So very soft,” he murmurs against her lips.
The first time he kissed her–a real kiss, not a hero’s suicide–was two days before New Year’s. That awful night at the Ten Bells. Jimmy Stone drunk and grabby, the Doctor calm as glass till all at once he wasn’t. Jackie hissing at them to go, just go, pushing them into the wet dark. He pressed her to the brick wall outside the flats, his touch was sure but his eyes were so lost, he tasted like banana daiquiris and he smelled like rain and rage and the roar of blood in her ears drowned the echo of Jimmy’s screams.
I think this will be my last. Thanks for having me :)
Story: Getting Through
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 3182
Author’s Summary: He can’t save them all. But if he’s very lucky, maybe he can save just one.
Recced because: Confession time: I was bawling like a baby during Ten’s farewell tour. Visiting all of his friends before he died was such a Ten thing to do. But the fridge logic moment is inevitable: how does he go from ‘epic confrontation with the Time Lords’ to farewell tour? Isn’t he forgetting something? Or - let’s be honest - someone? Someone who just exhibited a potential character turnaround of the sort Ten has canonically begged for on his knees? Someone whom leaving is tatamount to killing, since he can’t exactly expect any kind of warm welcome back on Gallifrey? Never mind the whole ‘burning’ thing… I love you for many things, RTD, but the evenness of your writing is not one of them.
Fortunate, then, that travels_in_time has stepped up to fill the gap. If there were such a genre as an End of Time fix-it, I suppose this would be it: once more into the Time Lock, to right the last great wrong. Susan appears (rejoice!) to inject some added poignancy, a link from the beginning of time to its end (if you’ll forgive me). This is the way Ten ought to have gone out: with none of the truly important things left undone.
Speaking of endings, this is going to be my last rec. Thanks again for having me! If you liked something I recced please let the author know. There’s no such thing as too many reviews.
Story: Flashing Before
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 535
Author’s Summary: As Donna dies (from a heart attack, at about 100 years old), she finally remembers the Doctor.
Characters/Pairings: Donna Noble, Tenth Doctor
Warnings: Major Character Death (see prompt)
Recced because: Thinking seriously about what happened to Donna in Journey’s End is something I try to avoid doing whenever possible, because of how legitimately depressing it was. If I were in Donna’s place, I’d rather take my memories and my chances than go back to the life I’d left behind. But I also have trouble reading fix-its, because they’re either too reminiscent of the original tragedy (see, re: depression), or because they skip over it lightly and she’s all sunshine and happiness a moment later. That’s where this fic comes in. It doesn’t softpedal the sadness, but it also offers a legitimate excuse for not dwelling on it: would you choose to spend your last moments being sad and betrayed and furious, or instead dwell on the wonder of memories you’d lost - and the wonder of the life you did live, after all? It’s exactly the right sort of smiling-through-the-tears to do justice to the original and still offer some measure of peace.
Story: Heart Heard of, Ghost Guessed
Word Count: 11771
Author’s Summary: Stealing the contents of the Matrix from Gallifrey’s capitol is easy! And so is a desperate, naïve Theta Sigma. Depending on where you are in your personal time-line.
Characters/Pairings: Delgado!Master/Theta , Theta/Koschei, future Doctor/future Master
Recced because: I wanted to end on a happy note, and this is the fic I always reread when too much angst has gotten me down. Which isn’t to say the fic is fluff – parts of it are rather a bit angsty – but you can’t have an up without a down. The journey has plenty of emotion, meaning that it really earns its satisfying, heartwarming conclusion.
Best of all, the coda is cleverly set in some ambiguous future, which makes it the ultimate handwave-y fix-it. No matter what sadness has just aired on my TV, this fic is able to reassure me that one day everything will be okay.
With the new switch to biweekly reccing, nonelvis has invited me to stick around for another week. Hooray! I’m going to finish my original planned slate of recs, then go through my backups list and pick another two or three to scatter over next week. So recs today and tomorrow, then periodically.
Story: And You Will Know Her By The Smile In Her Eyes
Word Count: 21928
Author’s Summary: Jack is gone, and Ianto has discovered something very important that he needs Jack for. Will he find Jack in time, and, more importantly, what will happen when Jack does return? Mpreg.
Characters/Pairings: Jack/Ianto, cameos by the rest of S1 Team Torchwood
Recced because: Everything James writes is amazing, but this is the amazing-est of them all. I’m a sucker for angst, tru wuv, and mpreg, so this fic is pretty much my fangirl trifecta. The writing is fantastic, and the characters are so wonderfully written you’ll forget you’re not watching canon. (Speaking of canon: the events of Children of Earth aren’t referenced, so this can’t properly be called a fix-it, but it pretty clearly operates in a world where CoE never happened/won’t happen.)
Jack actually plays a surprisingly small role for most of the fic, which gives Ianto the space he needs to step out from Jack’s shadow and demonstrate his underlying strength. It’s a story where you can love but still see clearly, be loyal without giving up your self-respect, and have faith but work hard to achieve your goals. The Doctor appears briefly to deliver a paeaen to love and devotion in the face of immortality (bring your Doctor/Whoever goggles) and the ending is eminently satisfying.
Okay, our reccing period poll showed very strong support for a two-week reccing period instead of biweekly recs, so two weeks it is. However, there was also some support for moving beyond 4-7 recs, so I’m going to try splitting the difference between low/high options at 4-10. You are by no means required to rec 10 fics, but please feel free to if you like.
I’ll contact those of you who have signed up to rec over the next few months to confirm your two-week timeslots.
Thanks again for your input here, and for your continued support of the comm.