Rating: All ages
Word Count: 3071
Author's Summary: Peri's grandmother gave her a different doll every year on her birthday.
Characters/Pairings: Six, Peri
Recced because: This fic might just be the most justice Peri has ever gotten in or out of canon. Peri, I realize, is not everybody's cup of tea, or even most people's so far as I can tell. Hut I think that this fic, as beautifully written as it is, would be rewarding to both her fans and her detractors, because it nails everything about her that I love.
It does the same for her prickly relationship with Doctor number six, showcasing both their friendship and their friction in a way that makes them both sympathetic. There's a lot in this beautiful little study that's heartbreaking—often in a mundane, real, everyday way—but a lot that's hopeful woven into it, for both the Doctor and for Peri.
All that, and a freaky alien planet, to boot.
(a) Elasticity and Flaws
Peri's grandmother gave her a different doll every year on her birthday. When she was five, it was a molded plastic baby doll, hollow on the inside, that sighed when it was squeezed. At seven, it was a yarn-mopped rag doll that slouched forlornly wherever it was set. At twelve, a little girl on one-sixth the scale, with ringlets framing her ceramic head, and weighted 'sleepytime' eyes.
Peri never played with any of them. Not to say she was a tomboy; she loved makeup, dresses and fancy shoes just as much as she loved swingsets, fields and muddy creeks. But for all the varieties she'd been given, she never came across a doll that was interesting. Her make-believes didn't run toward the maternal, and dolls made terrible companions for just about everything else. Who wanted to drag something around all day that didn't do anything?
The dolls stopped coming when she turned thirteen, the year her dad died. After she and her mom moved in with Howard Foster, Peri never bothered unpacking them. But on bad nights, when Howard got too touchy by half, she would think about them-- neatly tucked away in tissue paper and cardboard boxes, so very still and silent.
She never planned to turn out quite so loud or boisterous as everyone said she was. But in Peri's mind, it sure beat the alternative.