jjpor (jjpor) wrote in calufrax,

rec: Nothing gold can stay by ClocketPatch

Well, that week went quickly, didn't it? It's been a lot of fun, and I hope people have enjoyed the recs I've posted so far. Just one more to go...

Nothing gold can stay
Rating: All ages
Word Count: 16,535
Author's Summary: In which Romana saves the Doctor's butt, the universe, and some newt people.
Characters/Pairings: The Doctor (4th)/Romana II, K9
Warnings: Although there's nothing explicit, the story does involve possession and the Doctor acting very strangely; it hints at some pretty dark stuff, including violence, but without going into the details

Recced because: Here's another story that I've been meaning to rec either on Calufrax or elsewhere for at least three years now, but somehow never got around to it, because I'm bad like that. I have put in a good word for it here and there, though, in LJ conversations and elsewhere as and when the opportunity arose, because I really do think as many people as possible should read this one, and hopefully enjoy it as much as I have. I'll be honest, clocketpatch has become a pretty firm internet acquaintance of mine over the past couple of years, but I'm not exaggerating or gilding the lily even a little bit when I say she's one of the best writers I've come across online and that I wish her busy real life gave her more time to write, because the world needs more writing of this quality.

Very nice prose stylings, interesting use of words and vivid descriptive passages are the things I most associate with clocketpatch's writing, and this story is no exception. Another thing which endears it to me is the fact that it's about Four, Romana and K9, with more than a hint of Four/Romana about it; I can't get enough of that sort of stuff, as anybody who has had any fanfic-related dealings with me probably knows. Here, though, what is often thought of as a quite light, fluffy Team TARDIS find themselves involved in some quite grim, dark stuff indeed. I don't want to give more away than I did in the warnings section above, but it's interesting to see these characters in that sort of setting, and strangely it's extremely effective. Another thing this author does very well is to ground her stories very much in the often harsh reality of life, but without going overboard with grimness for grimness's sake. It's a fine line to tread, but she does it very well.

It's not all darkness, though - the portrayal of Four and Romana and their unique star-crossed relationship, and the whimsy of it, is very nice indeed. It makes me smile, and kind of "get something in my eye" at points, especially in the epilogue which provides a perfectly bittersweet ending to the whole tale. Another thing well worth mentioning is the world-building in this story; the author's aliens are very alien while remaining understandable to the reader, a hard thing to achieve.

Lastly, I cannot overstate the big impression this story made on me the first time I read it and how it consciously or unconsciously influenced my own later fic about Four and Romana and indeed the way I see their characters nowadays. Go and read it!

In any case, she was taking the situation remarkably well considering. She even pretended to enjoy herself at times, and he found that remarkably considerate. It was cruel and immature of him to ignore her now that they had landed on a planetoid that caught her interest.

But he was hurt that she had dismissed one of his favourite poems so unceremoniously.

He finished the last page of his book—

(He could have sped-read the volume in seconds, but knew how profoundly unwise and unsafe it could be to rush poetry)

— and, sighing deeply, rose from his chair (singeing his right sock slightly as his foot brushed into the embers of the fire). He thought about grabbing another book, but his conscience really wouldn't leave him alone. He stretched like a cat and then lumbered like a bear into the hallway.

"Romana?" he called.

No response.


He stalked the empty, white hallways and found no one. He was a bit hurt that Romana had actually gone through with her plan and left without him, but at the same time a wide smile stole across his face. He was proud of her.

Fiendishly proud of her.

His Romana.

And it occurs to me, somewhat shockingly, that I've managed to go a whole week without reccing any Seven fics... I suppose I'll just have to do better next time. :)

Tags: author: clocketpatch, companion: k-9, companion: romana ii, doctor: 4, pairing: 4/romana ii, rating: all ages, reccer: jjpor, type: het

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