… actually, it was bedtime.
This sums up my semester thus far quite well. Not the school part. That has mostly alternated between “surprisingly okay” and “meh”. But the life part.
You see, lately a few friends and I have been plotting sad stories.
The other necessary introduction to this post: Recently in my group dynamics textbook I was reading about factors that help predict whether people will become friends. One is simply proximity. I’ve learned about this before, and I must admit, I find it a bit disconcerting. I have fantastic friends. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
But I can also think of people I’ve gotten to know a little bit about whom I’ve thought, If circumstances allowed us more frequent contact, I think I could be good friends with this person.
Of course, in this life, we can never know for sure what would have happened.
Back to plotting stories. I wish I could explain to you all the brilliance that is the Clan. But I can’t. Partly because I’m not sure it’s possible, and partly because you would probably get bored long before I tired of explaining. So I will try to sum up. Hopefully it will make sense.
It started out innocently enough. It actually can’t have been more than three years ago, and was probably somewhat less. At some point after I started watching Doctor Who, my friend GG and I decided we needed to give each other Time Lord style names, and then we got our friend D in on it, too (we’re the Quizzer, the Librarian, and the Writer, respectively). We dubbed ourselves the Time Lord Trio. Later, once we’d all met our friend Gaby, she quickly got involved (she’s the Guardian).
Somewhere in there, to my delight, GG decided to write an actual Time Lord Trio story. Then another one! Then…
Well, first, to skip ahead a bit, by now, we have this lovely group of nine characters. Four of them are the Time Lord ladies who are based on us. If I were three-hundred-and-some years old, had a time machine, and fell in love with an Elf, I would be the Librarian. But I’m not. So she’s not exactly me, but she’s similar. These Time Lords somehow collected five companions of various sorts. They call themselves a clan.
Back to that dangling “then”. Then, for some reason, GG decided she needed to write an alternate universe story in which she killed the previously mentioned Elf (his name is Kieran). So she did. And she did it well. I was sufficiently traumatized. And it was going to end there.
But then Gaby wrote a brief piece about the Guardian’s immediate reaction to this. Then they convinced me to do the same for the Librarian. Then Gaby had Ideas about how things would play out later. Then things kind of spiraled out of control for our poor characters. We’ve dubbed it the Darkest Timeline.
There are various plot lines going. In one of them – not even necessarily the most painful one – Guardian feels responsible for Kieran’s death. She ends up with a pretty nasty case of survivor’s guilt and throws herself into dangerous situations trying to save other people until she gets herself involved in one that kills her.
This leads to Aven. Guardian is Aven’s best friend; they knew each other before they met the rest of the clan. When Aven in his turn can’t prevent Guardian’s death, he… doesn’t handle it well.
Upon Gaby telling me this, I was like, “HOLD UP! Librarian’s fond of Aven. She has some idea of what he’s going through. She’s not going to let him go a bit crazy without at least trying to help!” Leading to a Darkest Timeline story in which Librarian and Aven become close friends. (Gaby and I plotted it out, and I wrote it down. As far as well written goes, it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever produced. Which is a bit unfortunate, since it is technically fan fiction of a fan fiction.)
In fiction, sometimes you can know what would have happened.
Aven and the Librarian are wonderful friends. Their relationship is one of my favorite things about these stories (not that that’s saying much; most of it is my favorite). But it’s something that will never happen in our canon. While they are friends to some extent, they’re both very reserved, and they both already have their close friends before they meet. Without the extenuating circumstances, they never feel the need to reach out to each other in that way.
They have no idea what they’re missing. Even if they knew all about that possible friendship, they would never by choice give up the friends they had to lose to obtain it. They would just wish they could have both.
I think it’s probably a good thing that in real life we can never know what would have happened. It’s fascinating to contemplate, but it’s also kind of sad. Because if we know what we’re missing but also know we can’t have it without giving up something that’s already wonderful… How awful would that be? So I guess we should stick with being thankful that God orchestrates things the way he does.