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Rhetoretician -- Fiction etc.

Bel's Drabble: "Trousseau"

Bel's Drabble: "Trousseau"

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Tarot Magician

For the third drabble of this challenge, tdu000asked for a Dr. Who story -- the prompt was "scarves."

Title: Trousseau
Length: 100 words
Fandom: Dr. Who (4th, 9th Doctors)
Rating: PG
Warnings: Sorrow



"If it's going to be cold on Megatherium," says Rose, "then I'd better get some warmer clothing." Distracted, the Doctor tells her how to find the wardrobe hall.

After an hour, he looks up to see her -- and just manages not to cry out. She's wearing a long pink coat with a white scarf that's even longer.

An illusion: the same outfit, and the teeth are right. But Romana's dead, dead past regeneration, dead like the rest of Gallifrey.

Can two hearts hold the grief of nine lifetimes?

"Don't like it?" she asks.

He clears his throat. "Not your color."


I know that the last we actually saw of Romana, in canon, she was making a life for herself in E-space at the end of "Warrior's Gate" (1981), but at least one source says that she was Lord President of Gallifrey at the time of the Last Great Time War, and one imagines her dying with valor.

Incidentally, for those who can't see the first two drabbles, they're locked to the "Original Fiction Readers" list. Let me know if you want to join that list, and I'll flip the switch.

  • Thank you. I'm full of admiration for how you got so much emotion into so few words.
    • I forgot to say, thanks for making him 9 not 10. I found the chemistry between The Doctor and Rose more convincing with Christopher Eccleston than David Tennant. And of course Tom Baker was The Doctor. (That I thinks so probably reflects my age!).
      • You're welcome for that too. I've actually watched only a handful of the new series episodes. I figured you were telegraphing Tom Baker when you mentioned scarves, but then I remembered how cute it looked when the Doctor and Romana were in matching (or coordinated) outfits, and then I remembered what must have happened to her on Gallifrey...
    • You're welcome. And thank you for the praise.
  • Ah, the beauty/essence of fan fiction, dragging out something from the canon past to generate drama in the present. Even if the subject is someone who can travel through time.

    The idea of companions unknowingly trampling over past memories for the Doctor is a great one.

    Can two hearts hold the grief of nine lifetimes?

    What a great line!! That was the highlight of this drabble for me.
    • Thanks, Brad.

      I've always thought that the most poignant thing about both time travel stories and immortal/long-lived characters is the persistence of memory, especially painful memory.
  • You and time - a combination that just can't make bad writing. This reads well even to a complete Dr.Who ignoramus.
  • I'm so glad you gave me a heads up about this! You know I take great delight in your writing at any time, but especially about those fan interests which we hold in common.

    As has already been noted, you did a great job of conveying a great deal of emotion in a very short, concisely-worded piece! I read this aloud to myself and I love how beautifully it sounds. You have such a great, natural flow to your narrative. I particularly liked this line: "After an hour, he looks up to see her -- and just manages not to cry out. " I'd swear I could hear his heart stop for a moment there!

    I recently watched "The Five Doctors" and so got my first glimpse of Romana. I've got "The Trial of a Time Lord," here, too, and plan to watch that with the kids soon. So I'm finally absorbing a bit of the classic Who episodes!
    • You mean you could hear his hearts stopping, no? ;)

      Thank you, Joia. I wrote it for Bel, but I had you in the back of my mind too.

      I think the "classic" series had a lot of drawbacks when compared to the new one, but it's the long history that does it for me.

      Romana is special because she's the only companion who was another Gallifreyan -- another Time Lord (Time Lady?). She was every bit as smart as the Doctor and often ran rings around him. That, indeed, was the central dramatic deficit of those few years: The Doctor, Romana and K-9, bewteen them, knew bloody everything, and it was hard to create a dilemma they wouldn't easily be able to solve together. (So then we got the often-perplexed Peter Davison and his three bickering kids as a remedy.)

      Also, Tom Baker and Lala Ward got married shortly after Romana left the series. (And divorced two years after that, but it was still very fluffy for us all...)

      Edited at 2009-01-31 05:05 am (UTC)
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