Title: With What You Will
Word Count: 2423
Author’s Summary: One must be for ever drunken. With wine, with poetry, with virtue, with what you please, but drunken.
Characters/Pairings: Sixth Doctor, Charley Pollard
Recc’ed Because: It is a really striking character study of both Charley and the Doctor, the one she’s still getting to know after being left behind in the Girl Who Never Was. Theirs is kind of a prickly relationship, but not in the way Six and Peri are, more so because Charley has to harbor secrets about the fact that she knows the Doctor in his future, daresay fell in love with him, before the days of the reboot when that was a more common occurrence. I love this story because it is quintessentially Charley and Six in the language and characterization, but you see glimpses of others. In the audios, it’s hard to see Charley and Six in the same dynamic as she had with the Eighth Doctor. But Six is a romantic at heart beneath his bluster, and this story reminds Charley as well as us that even this most bombastic of regenerations is still the man she loves.
‘I am hardly drunk. Tipsy, I’ll grant you. A trifle intoxicated. A shade submerged, as my good friend Plum would have it. Unlike yourself, Charlotte. I did warn you about the sagacity of drinking absinthe.’
‘Yes, well, one can hardly visit the Moulin Rouge with Tolouse-Lautrec, and Bernard, and Gaugin, and not drink absinthe when it’s offered.’ She pauses for a beat, face creasing up. ‘Even if it did taste rather dreadful. Anyway,’ she sticks out her tongue at him, feeling childish, ‘hark at you, Monsieur Hypocrite; you drank enough yourself.’
‘I,’ he puffs himself up, ‘am a Time Lord. It takes more than a few glasses of La Fée Verte to knock me for six.’
Charley only smiles at him with undisguised fondness. ‘If you say so, Doctor.’
Relaxing out of his magisterial attitude, he reclines back against the arm of the couch to eye her speculatively. However drunk he may or may not be, his green eyes are still sharp.
‘You’re a bit of a romantic, aren’t you?’ He sounds pleasantly surprised by this revelation, as if he’s going to be writing it down later under the heading: Things Learned About the Mysterious Charlotte Pollard.
‘Going all starry-eyed over taking absinthe with post-impressionists in the Montmartre.’
Briefly, she wonders what he’d have thought of all those old journals of hers, full of imaginary adventures; Memoirs of an Edwardian Adventuress. Probably mock her teenaged purple prose; though really, if anyone is in no place to talk about a little bit of floridness in writing, it’s him.
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Hello calufrax! I am your intrepid recc-er for the next two weeks, and I have ten stories of various lengths, eras and genres to rec for you that all share one common trait: they are all fantastic.
To wit, I’ll start with something short and haunting:
Author: Lady Mercury
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 408
Author’s Summary: It’s so quiet he’s certain the silence will kill him if the lack of air doesn’t get him first.
Characters/Pairings: Eleventh Doctor
Recc’ed Because: To be meta-metaphorical, this whole little fiction is like a balancing act on a precipice; so very short, but you get the sense that any deeper delving is like looking down over a chasm. It’s Eleven and the TARDIS: the boy and his box agains the maw of the universe, drifting and holding on to what they can. It’s equally logical/mathematical (it is not often outside of mathematics proofs that one uses “suppose” in lieu of a ‘being’ verb, but I am sure this is deliberate) and emotionally stirring, a perfect character study of Eleven back when it was written in 2011 and now that his run is over as well.
Suppose a closed space of finite proportions containing two bodies governed by random movements. As time approaches infinity, the probability of their meeting approaches 1.
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I began my recs with an angsty crossover. Let’s end with something VERY silly…
Story: Torchwood Goes Watercolor
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 1207
Author’s Summary: A strange being comes through the Cardiff rift. Stranger than usual, even. Torchwood/Looney Tunes crossover.
Characters/Pairings: Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Other Character(s), Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato
Recced because: It’s a Looney Tunes crossover and ships Jack with a toon - do you really need more justification than that?
The alien walks calmly over to his spatial transmogrifier. This device—this elegant solution—will fold the Earth in upon itself, clearing that section of space without the obstructive messiness of debris. He inserts the critical component: a crisp, green block of compressed lunetrium sufficient to power a hundred rocket ships for the next thousand years. He strokes the lunetrium fondly as his other hand programs coordinates into the control panel. At the very last second, he sticks his fingers in his ears. There’s a momentary darkness. Time seems to have passed when he opens his eyes and sees blue.
He’s flat on his back, looking up at a concave blue hemisphere. This is concerning, as blue hemispheres ought to be convex. He also feels as if he’s been run over by the Neptune Express. He gets to his knees before a man’s voice says, “Don’t move.”
There’s a trio of earthlings looking at him. Dark, tight-fitting clothing covers most of their ghastly pink skins. He hears more earthlings moving behind him. “Who the hell are you?” Marvin asks.
They look out at him over primitive devices he assumes are guns. A woman in imposing boots answers him: “We’re Torchwood.”
I hope that you’ve enjoyed these recs - if so, please show your appreciation of the authors by reviewing the stories!
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Next, another story from the Year that Wasn’t, in which Gwen gets help from an unexpected source:
Story: The Sound of Running Water
Word Count: 9950
Author’s Summary: Staying behind to mind the Hub while the rest of the team went to investigate an anomaly in the Himalayas had sounded boring to Gwen, but that was before the Prime Minister announced First Contact, Jack was declared a terrorist and then killed on live television, and a mysterious stranger popped into the Hub from nowhere.
Characters/Pairings: Gwen Cooper, Ianto Jones, Jack Harkness, Jack Harkness, Martha Jones, Martha Jones, Rhys Williams, River Song, The Master (Simm), Toshiko Sato
Warnings: Explicit Violence, Swearing
Recced because: A lovely story by an author who hasn’t been recced here before, in which River Song takes a hand in the events of the Year That Wasn’t.
“Well, looks like I’ve arrived just in time.”
Gwen was standing and had her gun drawn before she’d quite registered who had spoken, though she immediately took note of the basics. It was a woman. Tall, curly hair, smug smile. And she’d got into the Hub in the middle of the lockdown sequence, obviously before the anti-teleport field had activated.
“And who the hell are you then?” Gwen demanded.
“Doctor River Song,” the woman replied, hands slowly rising to show that while she might be armed, she at least hadn’t drawn any weapons, “and I’m here to help you save the world.”
“You expect me to believe that?” Gwen asked, incredulous. “You show up here, now, and I’m going to just say, ‘Oh, well, good thing she’s showed up’? How do I know you’re not part of this Saxon’s invasion?”
“Because I’ve brought you the technical specifications necessary to take down the Toclafane spheres, not to mention the tech you’ll need to do it, and you’ll be needing that in just about … now.”
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My next rec is pure Who, featuring Martha and Tish Jones and the aftermath of The Master.
Story: Through the Spaces of the Dark
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 2702
Author’s Summary: The present collides head first with the Year That Never Was: Martha and Tish come face to face with the painful memory of a day when the Master changed the rules.
Characters/Pairings: Martha Jones, Other Character(s), The Doctor (10th), The Master (Simm), Tish Jones
Recced because: It’s easy to overlook the human cost of the Doctor’s career. Here Martha helps Tish Jones deal with some memories of her captivity on the Valiant.
'I'm Martha,' she says with a composure she's far from feeling. 'This is my sister, Tish.'
But Tish says nothing. When Martha turns to her, she sees that her sister’s face is drawn, her eyes full of terrible shadows. A sharp sound breaks the silence and suddenly there’s blood dripping down Tish’s hand and white wine splashing from the broken stem of her wine glass to leave a dark stain on the cherry-red frock.
'Oh hell,' Danny says. 'Here, let me —'
'No! No, don't!' Tish backs away from him, shaking her head. 'I'm sorry, I can't ….' She drops the shattered remains of the glass and slips away into the press of bodies surrounding them.
'It's all right,' Martha says quickly before any of the others can speak. 'Please, get this floor cleaned up before someone slips and hurts themselves. I'll look after Tish.'
I’m travelling over Easter weekend so I’ve set up my remaining recs as timed postings for Friday, and Saturday, in case I can’t get web access. Apologies in advance if anything goes wrong.
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I mentioned when I began last week that Captain Jack seemed to be in a lot of my recommendations this time. Here he is again, in several crossover universes:
Story: Waking Up Dead In All The Wrong Places
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 4664
Author’s Summary: As if being immortal wasn’t hard enough….Just a little collection of one-shots where Jack fails to die across different fandoms.
Characters/Pairings: Jack Harkness
Recced because: As I’ve mentioned, I’m a big fan of crossovers; here Jack Harkness surprises characters from several fandoms with his unusual habit of not staying dead.
Sarah slid the drawer open. A burst of frozen mist cleared, revealing a man with dark hair and riddled with bullet holes. Chuck sighed and stepped closer, looking down at the corpse. No flashes seemed to be forthcoming, and he was about to say so when the man gasped and opened his eyes.
Sarah’s eyebrows shot up into her hair, and a click behind Chuck told him that Casey’s gun was now trained on the man. For his part, Chuck just stood there, having suddenly forgotten how to move. Being the closest to the ‘corpse’, his wide eyes were the first the man’s locked on to. Chuck swallowed hard, and the man broke into a grin, cocking an eyebrow at him in what could only be described as a suggestive manner.
“Hey there,” he said smoothly. “What’s a pretty face like yours doing in a morgue like this?”
“Sarah, why is the dead man flirting with me?” he asked quietly, staring down in horror at the man in front of him.
The man propped himself up on his elbows. “It’s not every death I get to wake up to a face as adorable as that one,” he continued.
“Sarah, make him stop,” Chuck said, edging around behind her.
The man’s grin widened appreciatively as his eyes followed Chuck and landed on Sarah, who was now holding up her gun as well. “An adorable nerd and a sexy lady. I gotta die in California more often.” He snatched one hand away from her gun and kissed it. She let out a little noise of surprise.
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Everyone’s always busy on Mondays, so let’s start week 2 with something short:
Story: Drabbling Through History
Word Count: 687
Author’s Summary: Five drabbles connecting DW/TW characters with historical events/persons.
Characters/Pairings: The Doctor (9th), The TARDIS, Jack Harkness, Other Character(s), Rose Tyler, The Doctor (10th), The TARDIS, Amy Pond, Other Character(s), The Doctor (11th), The TARDIS, Jack Harkness
Warnings: Explicit Sex
Recced because: 100-word Drabbles are an interesting form of fiction, and are hard to write well - here Yamx has written six in which the Doctor and friends interact with various historical and legendary events. In view of the shortness of the chapters I haven’t included an extract.
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And for my fifth rec, some light flirtation from Captain Jack…
Story: Unexpected Visits
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 500
Author’s Summary: What if Captain Jack met River’s parents?
Characters/Pairings: Amy Pond, Jack Harkness, River Song, River Song, Rory Williams, The Doctor (11th)
Recced because: Families are always embarassing, and families with time travellers especially so. This short romp shows why…
“Captain Jack Harkness,” the man bowed with an elegant flourish, he stepped forward and raised Amy’s fingertips to his lips. “At your service.” His eyes offered all kinds of services.
“No you bloody well are not,” River muttered under her breath.
Jack ignored her. “And you are?”
Amy, ironically flattered, cocked a smile at him. “I’m River’s mother.”
Jack’s eyebrows flew up. His eyes glowed. His eyes flew up and down her long lovely form. “The beautiful mother of the delightful River Song? I am honored to meet you!” Suave charm virtually oozed out of every pore.
“And I’m her father,” Rory said in his best repressive Roman voice.
The man turned and his eyes poured over Rory with the same suggestive glance. “And your father’s pretty too,” he said, casting a flirty glance at Rory.
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My next rec. is old-style Who, featuring the Fourth Doctor’s most memorable companion:
Story: Lost Property
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 7069
Author’s Summary: An average, hectic day at UNIT for Harry Sullivan takes a turn for the bewildering when the Doctor unexpectedly drops by with a strange new companion in tow.
Characters/Pairings: 4th Doctor, Harry Sullivan, Leela, Sergeant Benton
Recced because: One of the fun aspects of this fandom is the ability to mix characters from wildly different parts of space and time, who never met in canon. Here Harry Sullivan meets Leela, and a certain amount of chaos ensues.
"Doctor? Have you found it?" a new voice called out, and Harry turned to see who it was and felt his jaw drop open in surprise.
"Good heavens," was all he could find to say.
A girl had stepped out of the TARDIS and was peering curiously around — a young woman who was carrying a very sharp-looking knife in a defensive posture and wearing quite the skimpiest outfit he’d ever seen outside of a pleasure beach…a dress composed almost entirely of animal hides, moreover. “You said you would be just a minute,” she said to the Doctor, while Harry wondered where to put his eyes. “Well, it has been more than just a minute.”
"Yes, just a minute, Leela," the Doctor absent-mindedly dismissed, still bending over Sergeant-Major Benton, and she rolled her eyes in exasperation.
Harry knew the feeling only too well. “Won’t you introduce us, Doctor?”
"Certainly, Harry. This is Leela," the Doctor obligingly replied, gently lifting one of Benton’s eyelids to peer appraisingly into the unconscious eye beneath. "Leela, this is another old friend of mine, Harry Sullivan. Harry, tell me about your patients. How are they?"
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Yesterday’s story was about Sky Smith, Sarah-Jane’s adopted daughter. I went looking for more, accidentally put an “e” on the end of the name, and found this crossover:
Story: Wound Man
Word Count: 1209
Author’s Summary: They should never have let Skye find out what she was. (Crossover with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Characters/Pairings: The Rani
Recced because: I’m a big fan of crossovers, and of the Marvel Cinematic Universe which includes The Avengers, the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., etc. Here Prochytes takes one of the cliches of Dr. Who crossovers, a character who is unknowingly a Time Lord, and shows just how bad it can be. This story does rely to an extent on the reader’s familiarity with the Marvel side of the crossover, especially Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but works reasonably well without it.
“Agent Ward and Ms. Cooper made another escape attempt this morning,” she said, as she wiped her fingers on her napkin. “I really must commend their perseverance. Plucky indomitability of the human spirit, and all that. But if they try it again, I’m afraid that I’ll have to feed them to Agent May.”
He wiped his mouth, and looked up again. “So, you still haven’t been able to find Harkness.”
She frowned. “Why would you think that?”
“Because if you had, that’s the first thing you’d have told me.”
“True enough.” She lounged back in her chair. “Blowing himself out of that airlock once he realized that he had come too late to warn you about the pendant was, I felt, unnecessarily histrionic.”
“It got him out, and away from you. Immortality must save him a fortune on parachutes.”
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