Oh, my. Anything I could say at this point seems to have been already said.
I really enjoyed the pacing, the imagery was clear and vivid, but most of all, you nailed Eight's character to a tee, flaws, foibles, et al. How quick we all are to forget that he is, if not entirely human, then mortal and just as emotional as any person? But we can afford to be weak, to have a safety net. He can't, and this illustrates that yearning brilliantly.
Again I say, brava! This is brilliant and charming and goes straight into my Favorites! Please write more!
Author's Response: I apologize profusely for my late reply. Anyway, your kind compliments have made my day! I love Eight, and I\'m so glad that I wrote him in a way that pleases other Eight fans. As for writing more...I\'m currently working on the sequel to Bridge Over the Abyss (my Eight crossover on this site.) If you have the patience for reading crossovers, you might think about checking out Bridge, since I have much more time in that fic to explore Eight\'s character. In any case, I\'m deeply appreciative of your thoughtfulness in reviewing The Boat Race. Thanks again!
Very sad, very accurate portrayal of a friendship disintigrating, very well done.
Author's Response: Thank you very much for the considerate review; it's always nice to hear from you. Thanks again.
Great fic! It flows beatifully and has an honesty that is rare in fanfic (we tend to get carried away with what we'd like to happen, not how the characters would respond).
I think Eight is the perfect choice for this scenario and the execution of the 'age-difference' concept was flawless.
Thanks for a great read :)
Author's Response: Thank you, whochick, for the very generous review. This story is close to my heart, so I very much appreciate the input. And yes, Eight is one of my favorites; all the wisdom and experience of his previous lives but with a childlike vulnerability as well.
Stunned by the sheer wonderfulness of this fic. You capture their emotions so well. Kudos!
Author's Response: Drox, thanks so much for the kind words--which mean even more coming from an author of your caliber. With deep appreciation, Roku
I can always tell when something you've written has just...flowed out of you. There's a smoothness, an effortlessness, to the writing that can't be imitated, no matter how much work has been put into making it that way. I get that feeling with this story. There's such a simplicity and beauty to it--a minimum of words that nevertheless brings across everything with utter perfection--but it's a sorrowful beauty, one that aches instead of soothes. I can feel the Doctor's sorrow as I read the words, and most of all, I can understand it. Empathize with it.
But I think he's made a mistake in here, at least with his conclusions. It's true, Sam is young compared to him, and I'm sure she does see him as a parent figure, but that's no excuse for how she's acted. And it's clear, by the end of the story, that she truly doesn't understand what she could've done to merit such an explosive reaction. She's probably confused, and hurt, maybe even thinking privately to herself that the Doctor must not care as much as she thought, because otherwise such a small thing couldn't possibly come between them.
But see, that's because she doesn't understand. She doesn't have the benefit of reading this, and seeing what was lying underneath the Doctor's reactions and hurtful words. If she could read it, and understand, and see how something so small could mean so much, I'm sure it would make her look at the Doctor--and their friendship--in a different light.
Because I don't think it's that that she wants her relationship with the Doctor to be one-sided--to be child-parent and nothing more. I'm sure she wants it to be more equal, and for her to be relied on as well as relying on him. But he's _the Doctor_. He's always so strong and in-control; I doubt she would flatter herself to think he would need her, or that she could give him anything he couldn't get from a thousand other people in his life.
Her mistake. The Doctor _is_ human (if only by half), and being strong all the time can be pretty damn lonely. There's no reason for the Doctor to be condemned to being the eternal parent, the one who is forever strong and lets everyone rely on him. Sam is at a disadvantage, because being so young, she probably isn't all that experienced with handling more adult relationships. And without the benefit of knowing what's going on in the Doctor's mind during the events of this fic, she can't gain anything from this experience except hurt feelings.
But if she knew, I'm sure it would turn what seemed so painful...into something she could learn from, something that would help her grow. Into not only an adult, but into the kind of person that Doctor can rely on, and be proud to call his friend.
But ah, I'm digging pretty deeply into your characterizations here; this is all hypothetical, of course, and my humble interpretations of the characters and situations. But it seems to ring true. And I'm absolutely sure that, were Sam to have the benefit of reading this glimpse into the Doctor's emotions, she would come out of the experience realizing just what a terrible thing she did to him--because it's not about the boat race, after all. It's about supporting and being supported, even if it's something small. _Especially_ if it's something small.
If she knew, I'm sure she would be more sorry than she could put into words...and all too aware of just how inadequate the word "sorry" can be.
Author's Response: Dear Sam, As I said before, a pearl beyond price. "Thank you" seems even more inadequate than "sorry"--but hopefully will do for now.
I really liked this. It illustrated well how lonely the Doctor must feel.
Author's Response: Thank you, Marci. for reading and reviewing. I really appreciate your input!