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29 February 2012 @ 01:43 pm
[doctor who fic] the live-long days of the last centurion, pg  
The Live-Long Days of the Last Centurion
- doctor who
- rory, river/doctor
- pg
- 950
- prompted by raafling on tumblr: "rory realizes how much flirting with his daughter has been happening under his nose."
- title from shakespeare's julias caesar. ...sort of.

Unlike his two thousand years as a Roman, with a head full of Roman Things and the scratchy sandals and the sword and the helmet - god, seriously, the helmet -  to make things tangible, which are all sort of fuzzy and there-but-not-there images of big, grey boxes, various things that tried to kill him, plastic-picking-up-static, and Amy, the dividing line between My Wife's Made Out of Yogurt and Holy Shit I'm A Dad (and my baby's made out of yogurt - oh,wait,nevermind) is refreshingly clear and obvious. 

There's everything leading up to the climactic, "It's me, I'm your daughter" speech - which, he has to admit, she executed quite well - wherein "River Song" was tagged and filed as another of the Doctor's crazy friends and woman who jumps off buildings and okay, awkward flirting, time to leave and no, seriously, Amy, I'm not watching this, and wow that is a really frightening gun.  

Prior to The Speech of What The Hell Just Happened To My Life?, as he doesn't ever tell Amy he calls it, River is someone Rory simultaneously doesn't pay much attention to and silently admires.  She's quick, witty, afraid of fuck-all, and has this habit of annoying the crap out of the Doctor that Rory isn't above admitting he absolutely loves. After all, anyone who can bring his wife's imaginary friend down a peg - even for a minute or two - is a blessed saint in his book.  

He also isn't above admitting that she confuses the daylights out of him.  The way she looks at him, sometimes, or the way she takes care of Amy after a particularly grueling "adventure"; the way her voice drops when it's just the two of them, confiding in him secrets he doesn't feel worthy of knowing.  And then, other times, flashing him a smirk or a wink in the middle of a moment that's just for him, like he's supposed to be in on some joke that's just theirs and he's entirely forgotten it.  It makes him feel guilty, even if he can't pinpoint exactly why. 

And then, of course, there's after.  After the gangers and the astroid and the only person in his life - all his lives, actually - he's ever actually dreamed of strangling with his bare hands (also not something he tells Amy); after River in her fancy dress turning him down and River with her calm expression saying things like "child" and "weapon" and River - Melody, his Melody - telling them as gently as possible the hard, bitter truth that their baby's gone and that's that.  No rewriting time.  No do-overs.  Just the mind-bending reality that their friend is their daughter is their baby is their friend is their daughter is Amy's imaginary friend's crazy wife who likes to jump off buildings and shoot stuff and song the face off the Doctor. 

Which, really, is something Rory thought he'd have a bigger problem with. 

In his head there are all kinds of things he really could have done without - his baby-turned-friend-turned-adult daughter being "quite the screamer" ranking fairly close to the top on his list, no surprise there.  But there's other stuff, too, little things he didn't quite notice at the time - a stealthily placed hand here, a heated glance there, swappable heads (among other innuendos he'd prefer to imagine are nothing but innuendos), and so on.  Stolen kisses in the middle of an escape plan, innocuous questions like, "Easter Island? Have we done Easter Island?" that for some reason turn the Doctor's cheeks bright red; a mature battle of footsies under the table and what Rory steadfastly refuses to admit might have been moaning coming from the third room down the hall from the swimming pool. 

He blocks it all out as best he can - the before and after moments - relegating his fatherly duties to the occasional glower and well-timed comment about his two-thousand years as a Roman centurion and his experience with all kinds of weapons through the ages, from a broadsword to a machete.  (The Doctor, for his part, takes the hints quite well, and immediately removes his smirk or his hand or whatever other body part might be touching his daughter's through accident or design.) 

For all the obvious pain he's seen her go through, before (which is technically, for her, after) he can't ask her to change it.  Wouldn't dream of trying.  It might not have made sense when she was River Song: Archeologist and Annoyer of Doctor, but as Melody Pond?  He gets it.  She looks at the Doctor like he looks at Amy, and he knows it, and hell or high water he'd send the whole world into another big bang before he'd take that away from her. 

Because when it comes down to it, Rory knows, death-defying adventures and ridiculous amounts of running and really, really horrible piloting aside, his childhood friend is in fact his other friend is his daughter is his baby girl, and his baby girl - for whatever reason - is stupidly in love with a time-travelling lunatic who happens to be his wife's best friend.  Who happens to be his baby girl's husband.  Who happens to be--

Well.  He gets the point.  

He really does. 
uhh... liv?: River Feverjust_liv on March 1st, 2012 01:56 am (UTC)
Lovely! Just lovely! It's for little things like this (and what a perfect characterization you provided here) that Rory lives in my heart! Extra points for the wibbly-wobbly accuracy! ;D
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - ponds;  1 2 3hihoplastic on March 2nd, 2012 09:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! This is the first time I've really tried to focus on Rory, so I'm super glad you thought it was in character! *grins*

Rory is probably my favorite companion, ngl. (River notwithstanding, ofc) He's just wonderful and perfect and alkjwaerkwje. RORY.
betawhobetawho on March 1st, 2012 03:42 am (UTC)

I love it that Rory tries so hard to keep everything straight, when there's just no chance. And I could really really hear his voice in all this.

And I do like that his baby girl is someone who grew up into someone he could secretly admire.

And I'd really love to see a story where Rory and River, father and daughter, sneakily team up together against the Doctor. After all, the one who likes to annoy him, and the one who likes to see him annoyed, have a lot more in common than just a way with weapons.

☮ + ♡ + ☺: actor - ak; and you cheat at cards!hihoplastic on March 2nd, 2012 09:08 pm (UTC)
I love that about him. He's just so 'go with the flow' about everything, even though you know it has to be extremely difficult for him, everything he's been through. I really hope the show explores a bit more of the father/daughter relationship before the Ponds depart. *fingers crossed*

I will take that as a prompt and file it for future writingness! That sounds like a blast. :D
(Deleted comment)
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - ap; where to starthihoplastic on March 2nd, 2012 09:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! \o/
no matter how improbable: rory bad-asscharlottetrips on March 1st, 2012 06:53 am (UTC)
Ah, my love for Rory just grows with this. I really do feel like you've captured his voice here and I love his thoughts on River and his not so subtle hints to the Doctor :P
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; so younghihoplastic on March 2nd, 2012 09:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I've never really tried focusing on Rory before, so I'm relieved you thought it was in character! There are a lot of fics where Rory's all, (to paraphrase), "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!" to the Doctor, and that just never felt right to me, personally. *shrugs* But I do think he'd have an excellent time making him blush and freak out, lol. *squishes Rory* I love him so much.
Vicky: [DW] Rivervickysg1 on March 1st, 2012 10:51 am (UTC)
That was amazing! I love how Rory slowly realises what has been going on right under his nose, and especially all the flirting, and the innuendos (and damn, River didn't stop and think that her parents were right beside her every time). But what I love the most is that he accepts it and doesn't really question it.

I loved this fic!
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - rs; distracted for lifehihoplastic on March 2nd, 2012 09:14 pm (UTC)
That is one of my favorite things about Rory. He adapts so well, even though you know it has to be traumatic and stressful for him; he focuses on taking care of Amy and helping others and alkwerjwlkjr. I LOVE HIM. And I think he'd be okay with the Doctor and River's relationship, honestly - I think he'd be a bit pissed that the Doctor, unintentionally, basically ruined her life, lol; but at the same time he knows what the Doctor means to River, and I don't think he'd ever say anything or try to take that away from her. 'Cause he's awesome. /blahs at you, lol

Thank you sweetie! *hugs*
One Whose Honesty is Stronger Than Her Fear: river yesamilyn on March 21st, 2012 02:18 am (UTC)
the way her voice drops when it's just the two of them, confiding in him secrets he doesn't feel worthy of knowing. And then, other times, flashing him a smirk or a wink in the middle of a moment that's just for him, like he's supposed to be in on some joke that's just theirs and he's entirely forgotten it. It makes him feel guilty, even if he can't pinpoint exactly why.

THIS. YES. I wondered, at the time, why she would confide in him, and I LOVE that she treats him as DAD even before he knows. And this babbling, stream-of-consciousness, trying to put order into the mess of verb tenses that are time travel...it IS Rory. Lovely, lovely work. I also love that last paragraph, "ridiculous amounts of running" and "stupidly in love with a time-travelling lunatic"...yes. And Rory LOVING how River annoys the crap out of the Doctor. And the Doctor removing whatever smirk or body part is near River when Rory glowers. I love this.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - rs; never a step behindhihoplastic on March 21st, 2012 03:18 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I absolutely ADORE Rory, and I love his relationship with River before he knows who she is, the way she confides in him is just brilliantly painful. I really hope we get to see a few scenes between them before the Ponds depart.

Thank you for reading and commenting! ♥