Story: Think of Something
Rating: None given; I’d say All Ages
Author's summary: The first thing the Doctor does after the fall of Gallifrey is go insane for a while. The second thing he does is accidentally cross timelines with an old friend he hasn't met yet.
Characters/Pairings: Ninth Doctor, Jack Harkness, Team Torchwood in the background.
Recced because: There are a few stories around in which immediate-post-regeneration Nine meets post-Satellite Five Jack, and to be fair most of them are really good. I’ve chosen this one because it is indeed one of the best, and also because I love lightgetsin’s writing and I really, really wish she’d post more of her fics on the Teaspoon. The newly-awakened Ninth Doctor knows he has to move on, to get on with his life despite the mixed feelings churning inside him about everything he’s lost. Until he finds another near-survivor - a dying TARDIS - a man who knows him, and a shred of hope for the future. One name, to give him hope that things will get better, and the knowledge that he’ll meet the man who knows him again too. Even if you’re not a Jack fan, or don’t care for the idea that Rose will be the saving of Nine, this story is worth reading for the scene with the fragment of dying TARDIS alone. Beautiful.
The madness ebbs. Like a storm-spent sea reluctantly grumbling back into its trenches. The Doctor’s mind is the wrecked shoreline of a holiday resort, one of those island places that will blend bananas and coconuts into anything and serve it to you with one of those clever little umbrellas floating on top. No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent--
The Doctor grinds his forehead into his drawn up knees until red pain blossoms behind his eyes. It’s nice, if only to have a little noise in there. It’s so terribly, terribly quiet, now that the storm is passing.
The cloister bell has fallen silent at last -- it tolls for — it tolls for-- and the TARDIS has stopped screaming. She’s quiet now, too, but definitely still alive. Her pulse, his third heart, drums uneven but strong at the base of his skull. He thought she might die of this, but he was wrong; he was sure he would die of this, but he was wrong.
”Think of something, Theta. This cannot go on.”