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fanfic: The Last Centurion - athene
fanfic: The Last Centurion

Eeek! My first Doctor Who fic!

Title: The Last Centurion
Author: Athene
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing/characters: Rory, River
Rating: PG
Warnings: Angst 
Spoilers: 6.7 Big spoilers for this ep.
Disclaimer: Not mine. BBC owns them.
Word count: approx 1170
Summary: River talks to Rory in the aftermath of the battle of Demon’s Run


            River found him sitting on the floor, hidden behind a stack of crates. He didn’t acknowledge her at first, and River wondered if he even knew she was there. She also wondered if this was what he had looked like as he sat vigil for all that time, still and silent, waiting. Right at that moment, though, he looked more like the lost centurion, his sword and gun lying on the ground beside him, his knees drawn up, despite how uncomfortable it must have been to maintain that position with the breastplate.

            “Don’t tell Amy,” Rory said, his gaze still fixed on the wall opposite.

            Apparently he did know she was there.

            River walked over and crouched down beside him. Now she was closer she could see the drying tear tracks on his cheeks. She wasn’t entirely sure whether to be impressed or worried that he had lasted this long before the events of the day had caught up with him.

            “It’s a lot to take in, I know,” she said gently.

            He looked at her for the first time, but the attempted smile didn’t reach his eyes.

            “Without meaning this how it’s going to sound, it’s not about you. Of all the things that have happened in the last few weeks, finding out that you’re my daughter is probably the least terrifying.”

            He went back to staring at his hands.

            “I need to get out of these clothes,” he suddenly said, before River had time to decide how to reply to his last statement. Then he frowned. “All my normal clothes are in the TARDIS.”

            The fact that the TARDIS hadn’t yet returned didn’t really need to be spoken aloud.

            “We’re on a military base which was abandoned at short notice. I’m sure you can find some more clothes somewhere,” River pointed out.

            “More soldiers’ clothes?” Rory looked at her again, and River was shocked by the anger in his eyes. “Is that what I am now? A soldier? A warrior?”

            “You chose to fight today to protect the people you love. That’s probably the best, the most understandable reason for anyone to fight,” River said, choosing her words carefully.

            “I used to be a nurse.”

            “You still are.”

            “Nurses are supposed to help people. Care for people.” His face suddenly screwed up into an expression of frustration, anger, disbelief, and fear. Not the ‘oh my god, we’re being chased by the tentacle alien of Proxima Four’ type of fear. The type of fear that was silent, dangerous, and terrible. The type of fear that ripped good men, and entire worlds, apart.

Then he opened his eyes again, and what was once calm blue now burned with the fear and pain of two thousand years.

            “I would have killed every man and woman in that army to get to my wife and baby today.”

            River nodded. There was no easy answer. She knew better than anyone that no matter what effect the Doctor had on his enemies, sometimes the effect he had on his friends could be so much worse.

            Rory suddenly turned away, and went back to staring at his hands.

            “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t... Of all people, I shouldn’t be saying this to you.”

            “Of all people, I’m probably one of the few who would understand,” River countered softly.

            “Most of the time I can lock it away and not think about it. Not remember. But to do this, I had to remember everything. I had to remember how to be The Last Centurion.”

            “Maybe you shouldn’t be so keen to forget it,” River said. “Maybe Rory the Roman is as much who you are as Rory the nurse.”

            His hands clenched into fists and he shook his head. “I don’t want it to be. You don’t know how long two thousand years really is. No one does. Not even the Doctor. Even if I could talk to him about it, he’s only lived for half that length of time. Amy thinks it’s romantic, that I waited for so long just to protect her. But it wasn’t romantic. It was hard, and lonely, and terrifying and I had to kill so many people to keep the Pandorica safe.”

            River reached out and closed her hand over his. He tensed, and for a moment she thought he was going to pull away, but he didn’t. River closed her fingers tighter around his, and she felt his hands shaking just a little.

            “You know the really stupid, insane thing about The Last Centurion?” he demanded. “People came looking for me. Some of them came to try to take the Pandorica, but some of them came to help me. For a while I even had an entire squad of medieval knights pledged to defend the Pandorica and The Last Centurion and his noble cause. I don’t think they even knew what the Pandorica was, or why they were defending it. They must have thought it was some sort of holy relic. But they’d heard the legend, and they rode halfway across Europe to see if it was true.”

            “So remember that. For every person you had to kill, there were others who were inspired by what you did, and what The Last Centurion represented.”

            “Yeah. And it got most of them killed. Just like following me got all those people killed today.” His fingers tightened around River’s for a moment, and then he let go and pulled his hand away from her. “The Last Centurion wasn’t a noble cause, or a brave hero. It was just a man with a box and a trail of death and legend through time.” His face twisted into that look of pain and anger again. “Sound familiar?”

            For once, River had no idea what to say. They both knew the comparison was barely skin deep. That the man who had spent half his childhood being forced to pretend to be the Doctor, who had spent half his life trying to compete with the Doctor, could never hope to even equal him. And River was profoundly grateful for that fact.

            “He’s always going to be there,” Rory said quietly. “I try to lock him away, but The Last Centurion is always going to be there. And every time I need to fight I’ll need to become him again.”

            He looked at River again, and this time the fear in his eyes was as raw as the pain in his voice.

            “That scares me, because sometimes I don’t know who the real Rory Williams is any more. Rory the nurse, or Rory The Last Centurion. I don’t know what I am.”

            In that moment, River’s heart broke for him. For all that he had seen and done, and for the terrible things yet to come. She reached for him again, and this time he didn’t pull away when she placed a hand on his.

            River gave him the only truth that she could.

            “You are Rory Williams. And you are a good man.”


Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: nervous nervous
Current Music: Doctor Who series 5 soundtrack

55 comments or Leave a comment
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alyse From: alyse Date: June 8th, 2011 07:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, I loved, loved, loved this.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 8th, 2011 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, I was a tad nervous about this one, it's my first non-Primeval fic since 2007! But after that last ep I just *had* to write Rory fic.
fififolle From: fififolle Date: June 8th, 2011 07:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Rory!! Not her *dad* I see *wibble*
Oh god, poor Rory. This really brought it all into sharp focus. He's a *nurse*! He shouldn't be in a leather skirt with a... okay, scratch that. He can be both :)

This was terribly wibblesome.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 8th, 2011 07:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
lol, 'wibblesome' is a great word! Whereas T_15 had comedy fun bunnies from that ep, clearly I got the mega-angst bunnies (no surprise there, really).

Although on a shallow note, he can do the leather and sword thing just as much as he likes...
sadera992 From: sadera992 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh wow. That was amazing. Love the comparison between the last centurion and the doctor. And River and Rory bonding. Really epic fic :)
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I love Rory, and he's come such a long way since we first met the nurse from Ledworth, and I thought everything that he's been through is going to hit him sooner or later.
telperion_15 From: telperion_15 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is bloody brilliant! That comparison between the Last Centurion and the Doctor is genius! And oh my god the angst! I just lapped it right up! *g*

*flails quite a lot*

And that last line from River... *meeps*
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC) (Link)
*dodges the flailing* Phew, glad you liked it. I was a bit worried with my first forray into DW fic, especially considering it was mega-angst!

I hadn't considered the comparison between the Last Centurion and the Doctor until I was halfway through writing it, and suddenly it was so clear in my head and it *had* to go into the fic.

I would say I hope it's cheered you up, but it's not really a 'cheering up' kind of fic...
namarie24 From: namarie24 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is wonderful. I adore Rory, and your exploration of how all he's had to experience in his very long life has affected him (and is still affecting him) rings so true.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it. Rory is awesome, the way he stepped up and became a warrior in the battle, but I just couldn't help thinking it was all going to hit him once the adrenaline had worn off.
mack_the_spoon From: mack_the_spoon Date: June 8th, 2011 08:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is so wonderful! It feels very much in character, and I wish we could see something like it in the show. Love it.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you enjoyed it. I have a horrible feeling the next episode might pick up after a time pass, and we'll never get to see the true aftermath of the battle of Demon's Run, but that's what fic is for, I suppose.
szm From: szm Date: June 8th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is a fantastic look at Rory. I just finished writing my own coda for this episode. I'm glad I didn't read this first because I might not have finshed it. You say a lot of the things I was trying to express in such an effective way. Well done, and thank you
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it. Poor Rory, he's been through so much this series, I just had to write something for him.
sp23 From: sp23 Date: June 8th, 2011 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this was wonderful. Great character piece.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it.
honorh From: honorh Date: June 8th, 2011 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
That was amazing. Dear Rory. Does the Doctor even know what he's been forced to become over time?
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, poor Rory has had to do a lot of thing he never would have dreamed of a few years ago, it's going to change him, and possibly not in a good way.
jaynedoll From: jaynedoll Date: June 8th, 2011 09:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I loved that, it was a really great look at how things had affected Rory. Both the contrast between what he was & what he became and the contrast between him & the Dr.

And that line about what the Dr. does to his friends is sometimes worse than what he does to his enemies is so true.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:44 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. That comparison between the Last Centurion and the Doctor suddenly jumped out at me while I was writing it, and I just had to include it in the fic. But yeah, mostly the Doctor has a good, positive effect on people, but sometimes the price is far higher than they could ever have expected.
mysteriousaliwz From: mysteriousaliwz Date: June 8th, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh Rory ...
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know! *huggles him*
elisi From: elisi Date: June 8th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
This is just beautiful, and achingly spot-on in getting to the heart of Rory.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it. Poor Rory, he's a lovely character to try to get inside hs head, though.
pinigir From: pinigir Date: June 8th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
Loved it!
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you enjoyed it.
rodlox From: rodlox Date: June 9th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC) (Link)
> “You are Rory Williams. And you are a good man.”
and that is the most important part.

liked hearing Rory talk about all the people who wanted to help him.

not many people reflect on how Rory had to pretend to be the Doctor. its a good point.

you captured them both so well.

excellent fic.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks, glad you liked it. I imagine lots of people came and went from the Centurion's life during all those years, and once the legend started to spread it's the kind of thing that people would have gone looking for, for both good and not-so-good reasons.
lady_with_cats From: lady_with_cats Date: June 9th, 2011 02:04 am (UTC) (Link)
Dude, you're breaking my heart, here. ;_; Perfect Rory voice, and the dynamic between River and Rory is both wonderfully comfortable and awkward.
deinonychus_1 From: deinonychus_1 Date: June 9th, 2011 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
ooh, thanks, glad you liked it. And I'm so glad the voices worked, that was the part I was most worried about, it's the first time I've ever tried to write DW fic.
55 comments or Leave a comment
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