[personal profile] aeshna_uk
Title: "Scymnus"
Author: Aeshna
Fandom: Torchwood
Rating: PG
Word count: 583
Characters: the TARDIS, Jack Harkness
Summary: But all children are ungrateful.
Spoilers: For the endings of Parting of the Ways (DW s1) and End of Days (TW s1) but it's all rather vague.
Disclaimer: Not mine, no matter how many DVDs and toys I buy! Everything here belongs to RTD and to Auntie Beeb, who already has my licence fee.
Archive: Sure, whoever wants it – just let me know where it ends up!
Notes: This was one of those bunnies that hopped up and savaged me at some ungodly hour of the morning, demanding that I scribble down the first couple of paragraphs before I got any sleep. Wasn't sure where it was going for a while, but then the Torchwood season finale aired and all became clear! Am claiming this for the [livejournal.com profile] 100_situations fanfiction challenge, prompt "Son".

Many thanks to my wonderful betas, [livejournal.com profile] jwaneeta and [livejournal.com profile] mimarie – any remaining weirdnesses are all mine. Feedback of any variety is much appreciated but not compulsory – I'll post anyway! I've suffered for my art, now it's your turn....

Podfic: an mp3 recording of this fic is available at the Audiofic archive here. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] jadesfire2808 for recording it!



Sometimes, in those curious nightmare moments between, when his body fails him and the world drains away, he thinks he can feel her. In these instants he is essence, nothing more, and she is eternal, terrifyingly alien and yet utterly familiar – mother and lover, promise and passion and threat. He is the half-aware dream of a fractured reality and he is hers, he knows this intimately; is and was and always shall be, the timeless connection twisting golden and sharp and inescapable between them....

And then he is cast gasping from her womb once more, the not-memory fading as the world reasserts itself, new and old and almost welcome. She retreats like the brush of a kiss, an echo of maternal love and pride singing her first-born back into the linear. And he forgets and continues on, and she –

She rides the ripples of his futures, tasting possibilities and scenting emotions. Not ready, not yet, her precious creation, fashioned from something beloved and broken and transformed in an instant by her will and a child's unthinking desire. He is new and unique as she is old and unique, stolen from death as from decommission, life granted anew as dusk turned to dawn turned to dream and damnation.

Lives spared, lives spent, the past erased and no way back.

No way back.

She regards reality with infinite and overarching dispassion, then forges onward.

He is lost, caught in her wake and cast adrift from his kind even as he strives to cling to them. She exists without – exempt from the laws of a wider creation yet still ensnared by their web, tied to the needs of the organic, of the apes and the Architects – while he is trapped within, still growing into his path as she once grew into her shell, a carapace woven of time and illusion. He must mature before he is of use to her, must find his limits and accept her gifts for what they are: fragments of godhood and grandeur to be revered, not resented.

But all children are ungrateful.

She can wait.

The universe is laid open before her, around her, and she skips across it like a stone, savouring the space between galaxies, between atoms, between the now and the then and the yet-to-be. She is sometimes guided, sometimes guiding, driven onwards by the clarion call of eternity and the frenetic urgency of her Pilot – rescuer and rescuee, her damaged, desperate angel – and always she is aware of what she has left behind, has put aside, and always she waits, and waits –

For she loves her Pilot in every sense that might apply to her long-dead kind, but he is mortal and will not live forever.

Fortunately, she has ensured that she has options.

Sometimes, in those curious nightmare moments between, when his body fails him and the world drains away, she can feel him. In these instants he is essence, nothing more, and he is hers, the timeless connection twisting golden and sharp and inescapable between them, love and loss and longing shot through with duty and detachment, resignation and reward. She feels the edges of his latest fate, basking in reflected glory, and then he is cast gasping from her womb once more, the not-memory fading as the world reasserts itself, new and old and – for once, at last – quite welcome....

And she arrives like the brush of a kiss, an echo of maternal love and pride singing her first-born back out of the linear.

~ fin ~

Date: 2007-01-20 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mydeira.livejournal.com
Oh, this is absolutely gorgeous. I love getting the TARDIS' perspective on things. And the more time that passes (and the more time I watch PotW), the more I think it's the TARDIS acting more than Rose as Bad Wolf. Very, very well done.

This was one of those bunnies that hopped up and savaged me at some ungodly hour of the morning, demanding that I scribble down the first couple of paragraphs before I got any sleep.
You really have to watch out for those. While they are often the most inspired bunnies, they can also be the most vicious and hungry. :)

Date: 2007-01-20 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadesfire.livejournal.com
Wow. This is beautiful. Enchanting and dreamy while having a purpose and drive behind it. I love the way you use language, stretching the meaning of words to their limits, while showing us exactly what you mean at every point.

I love:
between atoms, between the now and the then and the yet-to-be.

Poetry in prose. Stunning.
*mems*

Date: 2007-01-20 02:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cyberducks.livejournal.com
That's beautiful. And The TARDIS makes a beautiful and terrifying mother. I too hope that it was her who was the driving force in what happened to Jack. Not Rose.

Date: 2007-01-20 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] adafrog.livejournal.com
oooh, kinda creepy, but not. Thanks.

Date: 2007-01-20 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laurab1.livejournal.com
Oh, that's lovely :)

Date: 2007-01-20 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sadbhyl.livejournal.com
This was so beautiful and evocative. It actually made me think of Galadriel's speech when being tempted. Beautiful and terrible as the dawn. We know that the TARDIS works to her own agenda and I think you captured that perfectly. Thanks for sharing.

Date: 2007-01-20 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crystalshard.livejournal.com
Oh, my. I love this. I could certainly imagine the TARDIS doing this. It makes so much sense.

Wow.

Date: 2007-01-20 06:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jwaneeta.livejournal.com
As I said before, I just love the delicate balance between the tender and the creepy in this fic. The TARDIS is possessive and alien, but she truly cherishes her boy. Wonderful!

Date: 2007-01-20 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mneiai.livejournal.com
Oooh, this was wonderful--the flow of the entire piece and the Tardis POV were great, and the ending has just the perfect touch of darkness to it, when you consider exactly what the Tardis has done.

Date: 2007-01-20 06:41 pm (UTC)
ext_11765: (Default)
From: [identity profile] beccaelizabeth.livejournal.com
this is good

Date: 2007-01-20 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cthonus.livejournal.com
Intriguing slant on the Tardis as birth-mother to each regeneration.
I love the metaphysics of the line "singing her first-born back into the linear". Very TS Eliot. You've captured the essence of the old girl perfectly.

Date: 2007-01-22 03:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] deltachild.livejournal.com
I love this, with it's repeating themes and great sense of feeling. It's so beautiful to read, and has such a lovely flow of words to it. One of the best TARDIS-centered fics I think I've ever read. You've found a beautiful voice :)

Date: 2007-01-26 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flurblewig.livejournal.com
Beautiful fic, very lyrical and evocative.

Date: 2007-02-10 04:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amythest-n-ice.livejournal.com
Oh, wow.
Not sure what else I can possibly say except this was beautiful.
Thank you for sharing.

Date: 2007-02-22 02:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] azure-chaos.livejournal.com
Totally and utterly awesome. This was so incredibly beautiful it's left me in awe.

nate

Date: 2007-07-25 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charibob.livejournal.com
Sequel? Jack's POV? Pretty please?

duh!

Date: 2007-08-03 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charibob.livejournal.com
Obviously, I should not allow myself to comment when I'm at work. When I asked for a seqeul, I meant that I would dearly love to see the moment between death and rebirth from Jack's point of view. There has to be something between 'Oh shit, I'm going to die.' and *gasp* 'I'm alive.' and I'd really like to see your view on it.

Date: 2008-05-07 08:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadesfire.livejournal.com
Hi there, me again, on the prowl for more things to record. Would you give me permission to record this? Please? I'm not sure I can entirely do it justice (and if it sucks I just won't post it) but I'd love to have a go. As ever, no problem if not, just thought I'd ask!

thanks :)

Date: 2008-05-07 11:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aeshna-uk.livejournal.com
Sure, go ahead! Feel free to play with any of my fics. :)

Date: 2008-05-09 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jadesfire.livejournal.com
That's brilliant, thanks - I'll take you up on that :) I'll drop you links as/when I do!

Scymnus

Date: 2013-08-23 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nancybrown.livejournal.com
Lovely and weird!

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