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10 October 2006 @ 08:36 am
Doctor Who Ficathon Story  
The following story was written for the Rose Tyler (post Doomsday) Gen ficathon over at rose_lives, and mostly composed during the oddest in-between moments, during train rides to Düsseldorf, or in our kitchen while waiting for the Spaghetti water to boil.

Probably a small miracle the poor little thing ever got finished. When I signed up for the ficathon in mid August, I hadn't fully realized the ficathon's deadline excatly collided with my holiday trip to Stratford (btw: cavendish and I had an absolutely fantastic time, but this really deserves an entire LJ entry on its own ;-)). Nor had I any idea how much my creative writing muses were actually under the spell of Pirates of the Caribbean.

The two important lessons drawn from this: a) sometimes even the "unloved" stories come into being, though all odds are terribly against them and b)when your talent lies in quiet introspective character vignettes, being an old Highlander fangirl doesn't help you the slightest with straight action-oriented plots about ruthless swordplay in Paris. I ducked out. I wrote against the requested elements instead of writing with them.

I only hope my recipient wasn't too disappointed by this. Especially since the story I've received myself, aeshna_uk's Illuminated was so very lovely.




Title: Brave New Girl
Author: Bimo
Characters: Rose, several mentionings of Mickey, OCs
Summary: When betrayals are all about freedom...
Rating: G
Notes: Lots of thanks to livii. Without her I would never have gotten this one beta-read in time ;-)

This story was written for fightinghand, who asked for
(1) swordplay
(2) Paris
(3) ruthless

and did not want any flashbacks.





BRAVE NEW GIRL

by Bimo



Ariane has done this before, and she will do it again. One time, several times if necessary. It's only Torchwood's expert who has changed, not the actual procedure, she tells herself. Pick expert up from Le Chatelier. Drive said expert to secret location. Show and explain the alien item in question. Wait and see if expert makes buying decision.

The Torchwood institute might be government-run, but it has always respected Didier's wish for maximum privacy. Probably because their own structures of power, even in the pre-Tyler days, were so very shady, and they held even larger collections of alien objects, so rare and precious.

Ariane opens her powder compact, looks into the mirror and pulls out a grey hair.

"Don't worry about your appearance, cherie," Didier says. "Any news yet about whom they are sending instead of Smith?"

"Yes," Ariane replies, with a smile.


***


The true influence of the Brits reveals itself in what they manage to keep secret.

When Rose Tyler switched universes not one single paparazzi vid of her ever made it into the web. The new Jackie? Yes. But there would have been little use in hiding her anyway, for she looks and sounds just like the old; the sole difference being that the new, alternate wife appears to be that tiny, oh-so- important bit kinder and more generous. At least on the telly.

That this loud, bubbly, refreshingly talkative woman could ever have raised a true space traveller strikes Ariane as a miracle. But the daughter exists and now walks the shores of this planet. Only a few minutes and Rose Tyler will pass the Le Chatelier security controls, equipped with a false passport and disguised as a tourist.

"Watch out for a mid-twenty-ish blonde with a bright blue Samsonite suitcase," Torchwood has told Ariane. "Don't worry about recognizing her. She will approach you first. We gave her your photo." The condescending tone of Pete Tyler's secretary annoyed Ariane so much that she gave in to her anger and dialled the number of Mickey Smith's private cell phone.

"Ariane, do you have any idea how late it is here in New York?" Mickey's words still ring in her ear.

"Yes. I just wanted to tell you that I now understand your reasons for quitting. How's the state of affairs at the U.N. science department?"

"Fine."

It was the strange kind of phone call which starts out hostile, but ends with laughter and in-jokes and the exchange of old war stories about the first cyber-occupation of Paris.

***

Once they sit safely in Ariane's car, where no bug or surveillance device can pick up their words, Rose Tyler, the girl who has been up in the skies, lets all professional impersonality drop like a veil.

"So you're the French lady who helped Mickey blow up two thousand Cybermen in Montparnasse cemetery."

"Quite so, I'm afraid. The amazing Mr. Smith had the idea, Didier Martin supplied the weapons. Better to destroy the homes of the dead than the homes of the living. And the city has more than enough other tourist attractions."

Rose Tyler smiles, and in a very charming and lively style tells Ariane a short anecdote about how she made her first zeppelin journey to Paris some years ago. "Such a fun way of traveling," she says. "Before dropping anchor at Le Chatelier airport, we hovered right above the Eiffel tower for almost a minute."

"Yes, they like doing that, especially with the large tourist liners," Ariane replies, and suddenly it dawns upon her that all the secretiveness about Rose not only has to do with the girl's special history and her function at Torchwood, but also with granting her the most normal, most private life that anyone in her position could possibly hope for.

Anonymous holiday trips to Paris. Buying fast food from a street vendor and eating it down at the river banks without anyone making cell phone vids of how you accidentally smear grease on your oldest, but favourite jacket.

Not so terribly different from the freedom Didier would like for himself, but cannot have anymore, because of the risks. Damn the DGSE and its new surveillance cameras that can see through even the most sophisticated of masks.

Following a sudden inspiration, Ariane brings the car to a halt. "Would you mind if I removed the Renault's top, Miss Tyler? It's still a one and a half hour drive, and I feel like getting some fresh air."

***


Despite all the sun and the breeze their conversation gets more and more serious the closer they get to the chateau. Probably not even the most casual observer would mistake Rose Tyler for a sightseer now. Her expression, her whole way of moving is just too tense and determined.

As they walk down the gravel path to the chateau's servant entrance, Ariane thanks God that the whole grounds are private. The girl seems quite capable but she still has to learn that transactions always run smoothest when both parts are actually enjoying their role. In this kind of situation, Mickey Smith always used to quote from James Bond films.

"Looking forward to finally holding the sword in your own hands?" Ariane asks, while pressing her thumb against the door mechanism's contact plate.

"If this thing really is what you believe it to be, this will get interesting."

"We'll see."

***


Hiding large heavy objects in the most ironic ways is Ariane's favourite sport, and also the one odd talent that she really takes pride in.

"This is a joke, right?" Rose asks as she stretches her neck and looks down the never-ending row of medieval armours. Each metal body appears quite individual and ancient, just like the swords held by the armours' metal gloves.

"Oh no. Not at all. Would you like me to fetch the real one for you, or do you want to find it all on your own?"

"If it's real, I'll find it."

Rose walks down the corridor, humming and whistling. "Segurian objects have a specific wake up call," she explains. "The Doctor and I once tried out about three hundred melodies, 'til we had figured out the right sequence of tones."

"Which of your Doctors was it? Your first or your second?"

"Doesn't really matter. They're all the same person."

A few metres down the corridor, a sword starts glowing and Rose hastens towards it. "Hello," she says, as if she were greeting a sentient being and not a millennia old ceremonial object.

Ariane stands perfectly still as she watches the sword disintegrate right under the touch of Rose's fingers.

"Stop it! What on earth are you doing?"

"The only thing that is proper and decent. I'm sending it home."

"And Torchwood?" Ariane asks, not sure if she is understanding correctly what she has witnessed.

"Will be highly annoyed to learn that I accidentally bought them an overprized decoy," Rose says, and the sound of her laughter strikes Ariane as the most liberating, most infectious thing she has heard in years.


 
 
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Selena: Tardis - saavaselenak on October 12th, 2006 01:46 pm (UTC)
This worked very well for me - Ariane is a good pov character, I love the glimpse of her adventure with Mickey we're getting, and most importantly, Rose, while being aware of the past, is her own woman and getting on with her life. Yay!
Bimo: Best_of_Timelordsbimo on October 13th, 2006 07:24 am (UTC)
So great to read that Ariane is working fine as a pov carrier :-)

I was a bit worried at first whether granting her so much of a backstory with Mickey wouldn't make her a little too sue-ish, but then I realized that a) Mickey really deserved an intriguing alt!verse life on his own and b) that turning these two into old acquaintances would only strengthen the story's inner logic. (Mickey's the very reason Ariane and Didier ever got involved with Torchwood in the first place, plus he also told Ariane one or two things about Rose.)

Thank you so much for the rec :-)

timeofchangetimeofchange on October 12th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)
Love it!
Bimo: Best_of_Timelordsbimo on October 13th, 2006 06:55 am (UTC)
Aw, thank you!

Comments from satisfied readers are always a pleasure :-)
Hmpf: ears of lovehmpf on December 8th, 2007 10:31 am (UTC)
Not reading this...
because it's probably better if I get up to date on DW first. ;-) (Unlike the previous fic, this one looks like one that requires some knowledge of the backstory.)