Author: Aces (wishfulaces)
Word Count: 4225
Author's Summary: "Hang about," Fitz had asked once, very early on when this whole thing started. "Didn't you already destroy your planet, once?"
Characters/Pairings: Eighth Doctor, Fitz Kreiner (with some Eight/Fitz), Romana
Recced because: The Eighth Doctor was rather screentime-deprived, with just the TV movie, but he did feature in a fascinating series of novels called the Eighth Doctor Adventures. This story is set between the end of EDA canon and the beginning of the new series--which is to say, during the time war that leads to the destruction of Gallifrey. Unsurprisingly, it's a story about things falling apart, and particularly about the Doctor falling apart as he gradually realizes that there's no solution except the worst possible one. Meanwhile, Fitz, the Doctor's companion through fifty EDA novels, tries to hold things together. And dreams.
Aces beautifully captures the feeling of a universe that's collapsing as time turns angry, and she portrays the characters and their emotions with subtlety and depth. The characterization is so good that I think this story will work even for people who haven't read any of the EDAs. And for EDA fans (not to mention Fitz fans) this story provides an ending that feels right, whereas the EDAs themselves just . . . stop.
Here's a little teaser from the very beginning of the story:
That night, Fitz dreamed that the Doctor kissed him.
“Coffee,” Fitz muttered as he stumbled into the HQ’s kitchen, aiming directly by scent alone for the pot.
“You should go home,” the Doctor replied without looking up from the papers and data sheets and sticky notes scattered before him on the massive worktable. His elbows rested on the table, his hands were pushed back into his long, curly hair, and the frown between his brows was becoming a permanent set of lines. They were the only ones there; the other agents and soldiers and staff had all dispersed, gone to their duties for the day.
“Not leaving you,” Fitz answered as he poured himself a mug and leaned against the counter, the heat from the coffeepot pooling into the small of his back.
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