Word Count: 71,164
Author's Summary: Rose Cottage, Sussex, 1926. The Doctor and Turlough have settled down to an idyllic life of tea, crumpets, and the click of red leather on willow. But is it really as perfect as it seems?
Warnings: spontaneous human combustion, baked goods
Recced because: Five and Turlough do domestic. Let me repeat that: Five and Turlough do domestic. It goes... actually about as well as one might expect, given the oh so very proper, repressed Englishness of the alien gentlemen in question. There are secrets, lies, assumptions, hidden obligations, a murder mystery involving Gideon Mantell, and many questions answered with awkward silences. However there's also lounging in baths and hammocks, and cricket, mucking about in boats, and some odd alien version of love. If Dreaming of England is the granddaddy of all Five/Turlough fics then this is its worthy successor, a love letter that both celebrates the pairing while holding a mirror up to its flaws. It's both heartwarming and tragic, and with its epic length is makes for a wonderful summer read. With plenty of tea and biscuits on hand, naturally.
‘So this isn’t a home: just an infirmary. And I’m just…a project. A victim, needing a noble saviour to swoop in to the rescue.’
The Doctor sat up rather awkwardly, and turned Turlough’s face to his.
‘I think of you as a survivor. One who has spent most of his life learning to be fiercely independent in order to stay alive. And who has therefore displayed phenomenal courage in entering this relationship - that courage being one of the many, many reasons why I wanted to be here, with you.’
Turlough looked away, and the Doctor almost smiled. That was another one to add to the list, of course: an utter inability to accept compliments.
‘What happened to living for the present?’ said Turlough bleakly. ‘How are we supposed to do that if you can’t leave the past behind?’ He faltered, turning his face away. ‘If I can’t,’ he added reluctantly.
The Doctor let his hand slide down to Turlough’s shoulder, fingers slipping beneath the thin fabric of his shirt to touch skin; to make contact.
‘I once told you that a man is the sum of his memories,’ he said, his voice a little husky. ‘If that were true, I fear you and I would have little to recommend us. I flatter myself that I am more than merely the horrors I’ve witnessed. If I can be more than the slaughterer of Cybermen or an exile from a barren home, please don’t imagine I would deny you that privilege.’