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02 August 2011 @ 11:45 pm
[doctor who fic] to make us children, pg  
to make us children
- doctor who
- river song; doctor/river
- 909
- pg
- for tenacious_err, because she is my hobo panda. ♥ her prompt: river/doctor - the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance)
- much thanks and hugs to K for the beta/read-through/hand-holding. <3

Sorrow makes us all children again -
destroys all differences of intellect.
The wisest know nothing.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

She never accepts it, not really.

Like a bitter pill, she keeps it trapped beneath her tongue, too great to swallow; it claws at her mouth, burning the length of her throat when she speaks, but she can't surrender to it, not yet (not ever, the voice says, though she knows the day is fast approaching with every skeptical glance and hasty, inadvertent touch).

For now (here: this moment, their hands clasped, their feet above the ground, wind at their backs, skyline straight ahead) she separates the fact (now) from the illusion (forever) and continues to chase the heavens as far and wide as she dares, and sometimes further. She continues, second to second, each division of time more precious than the one before it because she knows. She knows that if she stops (stops running, stops fighting, stops falling) even for a moment, even for a breath; that if she stands still long enough to accept it, it'll be too late:

He won't love her forever.


They stand on the edge of the universe, staring out at the colourless sea below, above and beyond. It stares back at them, glittering and dull, bright and dark. She sees faces in the emptiness, stories in the folds, her mind imprinting her reality on the vacuum that is somehow glorious and empty all at once.

As always, they're folded together like origami - creases overlapping, pages pressed together, lines diverging and intersecting in both physicality and spirit. His arms circling her chest, her neck craned perfectly back into the space along his shoulder; hips slotted together, weight distributed, her hands covering his.

They're like statues, here, gazing down (and up and over and far, far away) over their landless, skyless, waterless kingdom; all the gold in space and time and she wouldn't move from this place. The TARDIS hums and glows and the space around them sings and sighs and the Doctor presses his lips against the shell of her ear.

The End of the Universe echoes it all back into her skin, and for a moment, she feels absolutely infinite.

How do you stand it?
she whispers in the dark. Us. He traces warm words across her chilled skin. How is it not destroying you?
'Anger is a killing thing,'
he quotes softly, sadly. 'It kills the man who angers, for rage leaves him less than he had before - it takes something from him.'
I'm not angry,
she sighs.
He tightens his arms around her and presses his cheek against her spine. You will be.

Sometimes, she marvels at how simple it would be: one more trip. One more paradox. Just a little shift in reality, a few seconds, a stolen kiss. She teeters back and forth between the absolute (she can't) and the plausible (the press of a button, the flick of a switch). Whole worlds have fallen for less, she thinks sometimes; why can't just one fall for them, just this once?

I'll give it back, she promises to herself. She'll tuck it away somewhere in a distant corner - her stolen time, her cheated time, unravelling somewhere safe and indestructible. Just one more touch, one more glance, one more save, one more run, that's all she wants. I'll return it, she promises to the fragile air.

But she knows it's a lie - one more would never be enough.

Sometimes, when he sleeps too soundly and just a little too long, she sneaks away to the library to watch the blackness and noise float past the great bay windows. The Vortex has always calmed her, more than any lullaby, and she listens to its thrum beneath her skin, fluttering a third heartbeat in her bones.

It's on nights like this that she can't bear to watch him sleep. He's too still, too fragile - a broken china doll with too many faces. She wonders, when it's this still and this silent, if she hurt him more than she loved him. If it will prove inconsequential like it has for her, or if for him the scale's too tipped, the battle too long, and he just doesn't have the heart to tell her so. If it's worth it, to him.

If the love overshadows the heartache.

It's simple when he's awake - laughing, flirting, dancing, stroking his hands over her face and hair and arms and touching her like she's the most precious thing he's ever held; in 900 years of time and space, the only thing he's terrified of breaking.

She knows he loves her - knows he'll love her even more and someday almost as much as she loves him. But he's seen so much more, given so much more, and she wonders achingly, on nights like this, if it's what he wanted - this honest, broken longing.

They're a lot of things, the two of them - lovers, fighters, dreamers, keepers, singers, dancers, mediators; they've been everywhere and done everything and of all the bad and all the good she keeps those moments closer to her heart than anything. In the daylight she knows, can admit it to herself; but nights like this, when he sleeps so still like death, she cries for what they'll never be --


She'll never accept it, not really; but she'll love him forever and he loves her for now, with all the skies of all the worlds burning a backdrop as they run.
Vicky: [DW] Rivervickysg1 on August 3rd, 2011 07:46 am (UTC)
That is so beautiful, and angsty, and everything I love in a fic. This is perfect! And yeah!!! You've written Doctor/River!!!
☮ + ♡ + ☺: sga - je; we gotta stop thathihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 09:24 am (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie! I'm really glad you like it. :D

How could I NOT write Doctor/River? This is one of the angstiest ships to have ever angst'd! They MIGHT even give John and Elizabeth a run for their money...maybe.
(no subject) - vickysg1 on August 3rd, 2011 09:35 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 07:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vickysg1 on August 4th, 2011 08:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - hihoplastic on August 4th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - vickysg1 on August 5th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC) (Expand)
he is terrible, face-wise: Sparky: So It Beginsleanstein on August 3rd, 2011 08:58 am (UTC)
Beautiful as always. ♥
☮ + ♡ + ☺: sga - e/mc; in front of a gunhihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 09:25 am (UTC)
Thank you, love! <3333
Kitty Ryankitty_ryan on August 3rd, 2011 09:07 am (UTC)
Here through spoiler_song, and delighted. This is beautiful. There's something quite delicate about it--angsty, but not to the point of being overwhelming.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 09:26 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! That description makes me so giddy, ngl - that's really what I was aiming for. Thank you! :D
the wrong bitch: the towers sang and you cried...coffee_mill on August 3rd, 2011 10:18 am (UTC)
Oh hi, I got my heart crushed while I read this fic. Over my mornig coffee (even though it's not morning, but afternoon, but hush).
DUH. It's just beautiful and perfect and amazing and heart-crushing and I cannot even find the right words to describe it.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 07:43 pm (UTC)
Afternoons totally count as mornings. Especially pre-coffee. ;)

Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I'm really happy you enjoyed it! :D
Noordarklight90 on August 3rd, 2011 11:34 am (UTC)
You are a beautiful, lyrical story-teller, m'dear. This was a joy to read - in its heartbreakingly poignant manner. You show another more vulnerable side to River, one that's breaking up inside over the inevitability of her doomed love. Interspersed with the theme of grief, it's touching and haunting despite its brevity.

The last line is perfect. The imagery is perfect, as is the emotion conveyed. I like that it's an imperfect sort of closure for them at this point but strikingly rendered.

Well done!
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 09:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, my gosh. Thank you so much for the beautiful comment! That means so much to me, truly. They are so incredibly tragic, and River hides it so well but it has to be killing her. :/ I can't wait to see how it plays out with the Doctor in the same position.

Thank you again for the wonderful comment! ♥
Stacysahiya on August 3rd, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
This is so sad and so beautiful.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r; dog days are overhihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. <3
Kali: dw :: eleven&river :: hello sweetie_thirty2flavors on August 3rd, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
This is very lyrically written, and a nice look at the unfortunate tragedy of their situation. You used the prompt quite well without making it overwhelmingly obvious. I particularly like the bit where River thinks about stealing a few more moments with him, because I think that would be the biggest temptation of their backwards relationship. I also liked their conversation about anger and "you will be". Well done!
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r; dog days are overhihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
They are so, so tragic. It breaks my heart, guh. I'm so glad you enjoyed this, and that it wasn't too vague or too obvious. :) Thank you so much for the lovely comment!
artemis_ephesus: rivereleven gifartemis_ephesus on August 3rd, 2011 12:42 pm (UTC)
Beautiful writing, I love the use of phrases and semicolons, for some reason I dig that sort of thing. You know. I love the bit about anger killing the person who is angry.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:38 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I do, too. I'm a horrible sucker for punctuation. I think it comes from reading too much Virginia Woolf, lol.

I love that quote as well. It's by Louis L'amour. I should add that to the A/N, oops.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting! ♥
philippa_1988 on August 3rd, 2011 02:05 pm (UTC)
This was just so perfect, yet so sad and heartbreaking and angsty. Beautiful <3
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! They are such a heartbreaking pairing; it's hard not to let that seep into everything, lol.
leiascully on August 3rd, 2011 02:10 pm (UTC)
Oooh, chills. Well done. As per usual, I mean, since you've always been brilliant at sketching out rich characters with just the right amount of detail.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r; dog days are overhihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it! :D
Alytenacious_err on August 3rd, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)
Heee! I didn't actually expect fic when you asked for the prompt. :D And I totally did not wake myself up instead of going back to sleep when I saw this was posted. That would be nerdy. (Psssst, I totally did that. Don't tell yourself.)

YOU USED AN EMERSON QUOTE. And the fic! SO GOOD. Y U NO WRITE MOAR FIC. I love ittttt. I love the conversation about anger and them leaning on each other so perfectly and her wanting to cheat time to have more time with him but knowing she wouldn't be able to stop and her not being able to watch him sleep. So, you know, all of it.

She'll never accept it, not really; but she'll love him forever and he loves her for now, with all the skies of all the worlds burning a backdrop as they run. Is one of the best ending fic lines EVER. EVVVVVER.

☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC)
LOL, that is understandable. I ask for prompts a lot and then you get bupkis, so. SURPRISE! ;)

I DIIIIDDD. I was trolling quote pages and then it was like, EMERSON! and I was like, "Duuuuuuude....COSMICCCCCC." I am so happy you like it!! I'm still lol'ing at how much of it I scrapped from the park!draft, lmao.


gidget_zb on August 3rd, 2011 06:03 pm (UTC)

☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r/d; picture it backwardshihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 08:28 pm (UTC)

*offers tissues*

uhh... liv?: Spoilersjust_liv on August 3rd, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
I like how words can paint pictures with such depth. Better than paints, traces, lines or the images itself; How they can reveal what's above, the tangible surface, and under, the deepest secrets.
Most of all I like when an author knows how to use them. And you, most certainly, know.
I can appreciate the tragedy and the poetry. But what remains is the sting of the veracity. The way that your painting is a perfect and faithful representation of how I feel and what I see when it comes to these two. This is just... precious! Thank you for that.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: doctor who - r; dog days are overhihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 09:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow! Thank you so much for the wonderful comment! I'm so glad you thought it was honest; I was trying to get a little deeper in River's mind and heart; she's a skilled actor, but I can't imagine that this relationship isn't slowly destroying a part of her, despite her strength. It's why her speech in The Impossible Astronaut just KILLS me, especially when paralleled with her speech in Forest of the Dead. Guh.

Thank you again so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. <3
hippie-archaeologistmelodypondx on August 3rd, 2011 08:34 pm (UTC)
Oh my god, this has me in tears. Utterly perfect. I am speechless!
☮ + ♡ + ☺: film - park; who you're waiting forhihoplastic on August 3rd, 2011 09:01 pm (UTC)
Aww, thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! :D
A burning tyger (is on fire)hungrytiger11 on August 4th, 2011 06:30 pm (UTC)
Lovely and lyrical.
☮ + ♡ + ☺: music - lc; everybody knowshihoplastic on August 4th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! :D