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Challenge response: Doctor Who

Title: Her Mother's Face
Author: shaviva
Rating: PG
Warnings: None
Spoilers: Minor for A Good Man Goes to War
Characters: Eleventh Doctor, River Song
Word count: 475 (according to Microsoft Word, excluding titles and notes)
Author's Note: Written for the prompt 'Trace' on who_contest.  Inspired by the quote "Art is the child of Nature; yes, her darling child, in whom we trace the features of the mother's face, her aspect and her attitude." by Beck.  Set after A Good Man Goes to War and before Let's Kill Hitler which as far as I can tell means before the Doctor knows that Melody Pond can regenerate and therefore that River isn't her first 'face'.
Summary: In the days after the Doctor discovers River's true identity he thinks about her connection to his best friends.

Her Mother's Face

The Doctor sat in the TARDIS alone, needing the respite it provided.  After months of searching he was forced to accept that he wouldn’t find River, not in time to make a difference.  No, he suspected their first meeting for her would happen long after her feet were firmly set on a path of Madam Kovarian’s design.  He’d gone from giddy delight to grim despair and it cut deep.

He should go back to Amy and Rory immediately but he couldn’t bring himself to do so.  He’d cost them their daughter – surely they’d hate him for that?  He didn’t think he could bear it if Amy shied away from him again, as she’d done at Demon’s Run.

River Song … the child of Amy and Rory.  The Doctor found it difficult to believe.  Perhaps if he’d lived through Amy’s pregnancy, seen her increase as the baby grew, listened to the expectant parents talk nurseries and names and things new parents spoke of, perhaps then it would feel real.

Displaying a picture of River on the monitor the Doctor studied it.  He remained silent, his eyes searching for something before he gave up with an impatient grumble, punching the off switch harder than necessary.  Wasn’t it customary for humans to leave some trace of themselves in the composition of their children?  The colour of the eyes, the shape of the nose, a distinctive wave in the hair … something that declared ‘this is my child’ even before introductions were made.

Not so with River.

Amy was the quintessential ginger with her pale complexion and deep, militantly straight red hair; River had the sun kissed skin of an outdoors woman and her wildly curling tawny hair refused to be tamed.  Amy’s eyes were green; River’s were blue.  Amy was slender and of a height with the Doctor; River had curves to burn and came barely to his shoulder. 

Comparing River to Rory didn’t yield better results either.  It was as though River was randomly drawn from the universe’s genetic pool and then dumped without warning in their laps.

There was only one likeness the Doctor could find, one trace of similarity between child and parent.  Amy never let him get away with anything – if his motives called for reproach she was there, stepping up to deliver it.  After the dressing down she’d given him at Demon’s Run the Doctor knew River would be the same.  Perhaps that’s what she’d inherited from her parents … that brave step forward in the defence of right.

No doubt, that trait would make the Doctor’s life difficult in the future but for now it was reason to smile.  Amy Pond had a daughter and with any luck, the more he got to know her the more he’d find that River was just like her mother … in all the best ways.

The End


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 23rd, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Ooh, loved this! I totally see how Amy and River are alike. Brilliant job with this. Great introspection.
Feb. 23rd, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
that's a lovely description of River. I like how his contemplation turns from dark to light.
Feb. 23rd, 2013 05:10 pm (UTC)
Ohh, honey!! This was brilliant! And utterly gorgeous! Thank you for this...

Feb. 23rd, 2013 05:20 pm (UTC)
aw, lovely.
Feb. 24th, 2013 06:57 pm (UTC)
Loved this snapshot from the time the Doctor (presumably) searched for little River and didn't find her! I never really thought about it but you're right--she doesn't resemble either of her parents. Although perhaps in other regenerations she does--you could make a case that the little girl in the spacesuit bears a passing resemblance to a young Amy, for example. But we, the audience, saw more of her than the Doctor did.

At any rate, he found one way in which they're truly alike, and it's better than any superficial resemblance! :)
Feb. 24th, 2013 08:59 pm (UTC)
Lovely fic, I like the subtle way you showed how lost the Doctor was feeling, and studying River was like a way to take his mind off his own failure and guilt, yet the activity ended up frustrating him even more. The preciseness of the descriptions was nice, we could just tell how desperate he was to find a common point. The way he ended up finding one, not in looks, but in character, was very nice as well. Well done =)
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )