Story: Night Terrors
Word Count: 8529
Author's Summary: People have called Rory Williams brave. He doesn't always feel that way.
Characters/Pairings: Rory Williams, the Doctor (11th)
Warnings: In the author's own words: "It's worth noting that while this story isn't violent, it does reference House's psychological torture. It would rate a mental manipulation warning, if there was one."
Recced because: Unlike most of the stories I'll be reccing this week, this is one that I only read very recently. I was put onto it by a member of my flist here on LJ, who spoke very highly of it, and when I read it I immediately saw why. I'm almost certain somebody else would have recced this on here at some point had I not done so, but you know, I thought I'd pre-empt them. For the nonexistent bragging rights of reccing something first (which may only exist in my head), and because this story is just that good that it deserves as wide an exposure, as quickly as possible.
The story follows Rory in the middle of one sleepless night soon after the events of "The Doctor's Wife", as he tries to come to terms with his experiences in that story and the private fears they have triggered in him, as well as having a typically bizarre conversation with Eleven in the TARDIS console room which leads on into darker areas. What makes this story special, and had me going "instant classic!" even as I was reading it, is the portrayal of its two main characters and the bizarre, dangerous world they inhabit. From descriptions of the TARDIS's internal geography and the ways it interacts with its inhabitants, to riffing on Eleven's various quirks and mannerisms, the author's creativity and sheer love for Doctor Who and its foibles shine through. And then there is the portrayal of the Doctor as seen through Rory's eyes, the author doing an excellent job of conveying the frightening alienness of him combined with his whimsical nature, and captures his voice perfectly. The most magnificent aspect of the tale, for me, though, is the portrayal of Rory as a viewpoint character, with all of his inner fears and insecurities and hints at unspoken traumas of his past, and the overwhelming sense that he is much more of a hero than he gives himself credit for. Also nicely handled are his lingering Roman memories and his chilling recollection of what it was like to be an Auton too.
And the author-created alien who makes a guest appearance is well worth reading about too.
So all I can say is read this, you won't regret it. In fact, I would hope you'll all like it as much as I did.
"You lot," the Doctor whispered. As far as I can tell, that's Time Lord for homo sapiens sapiens. "You never notice. You never notice."
"Er. Notice what?"
He let go of me. "When you're being magnificent."
He was giving me that smile. The one that says, I've seen stars born and galaxies die, I can feel the tides of the universe, I've challenged armies and played chess with demons and brought down gods–and that's all just stuff. You, though, you're wonderful. The most marvellous thing in the universe, right in front of me.
He means it. Whenever he smiles at someone like that, he means it.
"Um. Er." Rory Williams the eloquent, that's me. "Okay, compliments–are good, yeah, I like compliments–but I don't–"
The Doctor withdrew to arm's length so he could study me. "You honestly have no idea," he said, a bit wonderingly, "why I play the villain in all those dreams."
"No. No, I don't. I thought I was–" I clamped my mouth shut.
"Finished being afraid of me?"
rec: Night Terrors by Lyricwritesprose
Story: Night Terrors