Story: A Final Toast
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 2750 words
Author's Summary: Jo Grant-Jones, Liz Shaw, and Sarah Jane Smith have a private gathering to honor the Brig.
Characters/Pairings: Jo Grant-Jones, Liz Shaw, Sarah Jane Smith, Doris Lethbridge-Stewart. Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart mentioned.
Recced because: There has been a lot of death-of-the-Brigadier fics lately, as is only to be expected and entirely deserved, too, given Nicholas Courtney's contribution to Doctor Who. But, in my opinion, this one is the best I've read. A Final Toast starts with Jo, Liz and Sarah attending the Brigadier's funeral, and thereafter adjourns to Liz's hotel room, where Jo instructs them on the proper and appropriate ritual to pay tribute to their departed friend: "Ladies, let's get pissed!"
There's plenty of humour in this short fic, including reference to suggestions that UNIT is a giant sex club, and this classic:
Jo has found several teeny, tiny bottles of Tequila.
She hands one to each of the women and with a grin says, "Five rounds. Rapid."
But, while the humour is indeed wonderful and completely in character, it's not what makes this story. It's the deft little character portraits of each of the women, now very much older than they were in their UNIT days. They're very different from each other, as Liz notes at one point, yet they've got a lot in common, and not just their love for and loyalty to the Brigadier (and the Doctor, who's both absent and unmentioned in this fic). It's clear too that, while they may well be getting older, not one of them's ready to give up their active and trail-blazing lives. They're all still making a difference.
This story is as much a tribute to three strong, intelligent and much-loved companions as it is to the Brigadier, and it's highly recommended.
As always, if you enjoy the story, please tell the author!