flowsoffire: (Liz Ten)
[personal profile] flowsoffire
Title: Backwards the clock goes ticking
Author: flowsoffire
Fandom: Doctor Who
Pairing/characters: River Song, mentions of the Doctor and Amy Pond
Genre: Angst/Drama
Rating: K+
Word count: 495 words.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
Summary: Sunlight burns and water gleams, and River Song stands suspended. Lake Silencio, twice.
Author's note: Here is my (early) entry for the Sun drabble challenge on [community profile] who_contest. Should be exactly 500 words, or pretty near that, my wordcounts won't agree. Enjoy :)

The sun is beating down on her shoulders, suddenly, blinding her eyes and burning her neck through the heated tangle of her hair.

It takes a split second for the whole world to shift on its axis. One minute she was lying on the sand, laughing lazily and sipping wine. One minute it was just a picnic, a slice of time handpicked and held close, when her husband knew who she was if her parents somehow didn’t. Out of sync and charming, like a bittersweet bubble—one moment, out of all those that make her life.

Then past and destiny stepped out of the water, and she knew exactly where she was.

She remembers now, like a lost, broken bit of her snapping back into place. It came slipping out of the haze, the slice of limbo on the edge of her mind where quiet demons lurk and hissing voices populate the dark. This is the place where the Silence still stands, and she looks away so she won’t have to remember, because she so chooses. Of this day, she wants to recall standing on top of a pyramid, her love beamed out to the universe. She will recall a world inside an eye, and hope, and freedom. Not this. Never this.

But this is her; here she stands, and here she stood, her frame a drenched prison.

She remembers this sun, though it did not touch her. Everything is back, overpowering: the great dark immensity that pressed her in its liquid embrace—the fear seeping all the way inside, into limbs that would and could not obey her—the odd vibration in her bones as the suit’s inner system moved her upwards, mercilessly.

She could not look up. She only saw the shift in the shade of the water, the subtle luminescence, its beauty yet lost on her. Then she was breaking the surface, and the sun was shattered diamonds in every drop cascading across the bulk that was not her body. Her eyes hurt through the one-way visor of the helmet.

Her eyes are hurting now, blurry; she finds it hard to breathe and conceal her shock. She watches the distant, foreign shape, unbearably wrong on the radiant beach. She seems so small under this sky that blazes blue, boundless. A little puppet. She did not shoot.

The Doctor’s shoulders are slumped with the burden of years, of life and death and resignation, as he strides away and yet to her. He stands there a long time, longer than she thought.

Sweat is prickling down her neck, and the weapons fire and Amy screams in a high, wrenching keening. She doesn’t know if she shouted, herself, cannot hear her own voice over the rumbling in her temples. She isn’t sure who she is, where is the truth, where is the lie.

Tick-tock. Tick. Tock.

There is only the sun and the water and the helplessness, once more, always.

She shoots; that is all she can do. Again, and again, and again, and again.
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