Story: a message to lead myself here
Rating: all ages
Author’s Summary: In which Eleven accidentally invites Nine (and, by extension, Jack and Rose) to watch him die.
Characters/Pairings: Amy Pond, Jack Harkness, River Song, Rory Williams, Rose Tyler, The Doctor (11th), The Doctor (9th)
Recced because: Many of wave_of_sorrow’s stories play with timelines in a way that I love. I chose this one to rec because I appreciate it on both a technical and emotional level. wave_of_sorrow pulled off writing this in a format with many extremely short, one-sentence paragraphs. It’s a format that can often drive me batty because some writers use it to scream "Look! Everything I'm writing is Important!" That wasn’t the case here, because the author wrote with emotional heft as well as economy. The story itself threatened to choke me up at times, with what I consider a spot on illustration of the relative youth of both the Doctor and River in this situation. And of course River and Nine, two damaged souls, connect in fascinating ways. There was more than one spot where the tears threatened to come, despite the story's brevity.
“The Doctor knew he was going to his death, so he sent out messages. When you know it’s the end, who do you call?”
“Your friends, people you trust,” Rory says, and in the way he’s staying strong and calm in all this River sees a centurion who waited two thousand years for the girl he loved.
“Then who’s number one?” River asks, and she hates that she doesn’t know the answer. “Who did the Doctor trust the most?”
Before anyone else can say something the back door opens and three people walk into the diner.
“You’re sure this is the right place?” the blonde girl asks, and frowns at her surroundings. Judging from her accent River wants to say she’s a Londoner, but there’s something about her that’s somehow off.
“Positive,” the tall man in the leather jacket says, and he does something to the lock of the door but the girl’s blocking River’s view. He sounds like he’s from the North, though the North of what River doesn’t quite know.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” the second man says, and his pretty face is twisted in concern, and River feels like she should know who he is. His accent gives him away as an American, but she doesn’t think he’s ever even been to America, at least not as it is in the twenty-first century. He’s the first to notice them, and he blatantly checks out all three of them until his eyes stop their journey down River’s body at the blue envelope in her hands. He nudges the one in the leather jacket, and says, “Doctor.”
That’s when it clicks, when it starts to make horrible sense, and River says, “Oh.”