Rating: A strong "Teen". I might have said "Adult"
Word Count: 2,321
Author's Summary: Six dark vignettes set after Parting of the Ways.
Characters/Pairings: Rose Tyler, the TARDIS, and...well, it took me a couple of read-throughs to be certain who the other character is
Warnings: This is the story I was talking about the other day re warnings. This is an extremely nasty horror story portraying a much-loved character having something truly horrible happen to her mind and body, as well as depiciting an extremely dysfunctional and exploitative relationship. So use extreme caution. I'm not kidding.
Recced because: I'll be upfront; I hesitated long and hard before reccing this story. I've had it on my list for two previous Calufrax weeks and chickened out both times. Partly because I was in two minds as to whether or not this counts as a character-bashing fic, which are rightly against the rules here (we get enough of that particular sort of w*nkery elsewhere on Livejournal without it rearing its head here). Having read and re-read the fic, and the author's response to one of the reviews posted on it, and agonised a bit, I don't think that denigrating a particular character or pairing was the author's intention in writing this. If your mileage, as they say, varies, then my apologies. My main concern, though, was to do with the story itself, its plot and content. This is, as I say above, a horror story, and it really does inspire horror. The word "dark" is, I think, a bit overused as an adjective in discussing modern popular culture; this story, however, is not merely dark, it is absolutely pitch black and likely to stay with you a long time after you've read it. I notice I never left a review on this one either, and I think in this case it wasn't so much my usual neglectfulness but a case of not really knowing what to say. It seems to require more of a response than I am usually capable of in my Teaspoon reviews.
I will tell you no more - this is a story best sampled cold, I think. I can't tell you you'll enjoy it, or like it, exactly. I don't think the author would want you to enjoy it or like it, to be frank. I think it is possible to admire it, as I do. It is extremely well and intricately written and shows a great deal of ambition and deep thinking as well as being a genuine critique of a particular period in Who history and a particular strand of Whofic that puts a particularly nightmarish AU spin on The Parting of the Ways and the Ninth Doctor's regeneration. It will not, I know for a fact, be to everybody's taste, quite possibly not even the majority of people's tastes, but I think one of the points of this sort of reccing is to maybe turn people on to things they might not otherwise read, to see what they think of them. I urge you to read it, with the above warnings in mind, and let the author know what you think (even though, unfortunately s/he doesn't seem to be active any more).
He sauntered barefoot around the console and stretched, as lithe and unselfconscious as a cat.
'Good morning. No nightmares, I trust?'
In his hand was an ornate reddish-gold gilt mask with a high alien brow and small pearls inlaid around the mouth and eye holes. Rose bit her tongue. He hung it on a dangling cable and gave it a tug. It whooshed up into the darkness where the bats rustled and chittered uneasily at the speed of its rise. The sniggering echoes set her teeth on edge and she couldn't help herself.
'Been in the bath?'
His dress sense had grown even darker and more sober since he changed but this gown matched the mask and the sash was emblazoned with a fleur-de-lys.
'Just observing one of my people's festivals.'
As ever when the Time Lords came up in conversation his voice was cool and distant. She knew better than to enquire further.
'My mum's got a kimono like that.'
She waited for him to change the subject with a cheap joke. He liked taking the jackie out of Mickey.
'They're actually ceremonial robes.'