daystarsearcher (daystarsearcher) wrote in calufrax,

rec: End of the Tunnel

Story: End of the Tunnel
Author: Erisinia
Rating: All Ages
Word Count: 1842
Author's Summary: Sarah Jane Smith is now accustomed to feeling helpless. Hand of Fear AU
Characters/Pairings: Four, Sarah Jane
Warnings: None

Recced because: If I love a well done AU like nobody’s business, which I do, then I love this like top secret files locked in a concrete bunker a dozen stories underground. It is very well done. The idea for Sarah’s Brain of Morbius blindness to be permanent rather than temporary opens up a whole new world of trust issues and power dynamics to explore, which Erisinia does with a deft and subtle touch, giving due time to Sarah’s anguish and conflictedness while grounding the narrative in the familiar friendship and support between her and Four. The tension is ratcheted up another notch by beginning the story directly after the AU version of Hand of Fear, when Four has been called to return to xenophobic Gallifrey…alone.
(Also, kudos must be given for the use of Gallifrey’s xenophobia as a plot point, which I would love to see come up more in stories where the Doctor is traveling with a human companion.)
And there’s a sequel! That one’s a WIP, but you know, reviews have a way sometimes of firing up inspiration…

"Out with it, Doctor. Trouble's never made you pause before."

Before Sarah went blind, they perhaps both thought, but he obliged with her request. "Humans aren't allowed on Gallifrey, Sarah."

"Oh, come off it, Doctor," she complained, "as if a little thing like rules against it has ever given you serious pause."

"No, no, the results are usually worth the risk." Her turban was slowly sliding down towards her shoulders, and he gently retrieved it and smoothed a hand over her hair. "But the last time I was called back and took two of my very dear friends to my home planet the Time Lords wiped their memories of everything we had done together and sent them home."

"Oh, that's horrible!"

"Yes, it was. I'm terribly vain, you know, and like to have as many people thinking about me as possible." But they both knew she was thinking about how much she would hate to lose her best friend and cause him a similar pain, and he wrapped an arm around her slender terry-cloth clad shoulders.

Despite a clear attempt to be brave, Sarah's voice quivered slightly when she asked, "Are you going to take me back to Earth?"

She didn't notice that she didn't say 'back home', but the Doctor did. He noted it very carefully. "Well, it's not as simple as all that, I'm afraid. My people have advanced medical technology, you see." She didn't flinch as he almost absently touched a colder-than-human fingertip to each eyelid. "It's possible they might be able to do something about those lovely eyes of yours."
Tags: author: erinisia, companion: sarah, doctor: 4, rating: all ages, reccer: daystarsearcher, type: gen

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