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Meme: Fic DVD Commentary

Ganked from yamx .

Pick a paragraph (or any passage less than 500 words) from any fanfic I've written, and comment to this post with that selection. I will then give you a DVD commentary on that snippet: what I was thinking when I wrote it, why I wrote it in the first place, what's going on in the character's heads, why I chose certain words, what this moment means in the context of the rest of the fic, lots of awful puns, and anything else that you'd expect to find on a DVD commentary track.

Here's my fic master list on LJ and Teaspoon.

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( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
canaana
Nov. 1st, 2009 12:56 am (UTC)
What, it wasn't good enough to gank when I posted it? ;)

The entirety of "Forever", if you're cool with it. If not, let me know and I'll pick something else. :)

A threesome. Nothing new, only... that's Rose: soft, warm and inviting, the Doctor beside her. The muscled frame matches Jack's fantasies, but it's the relaxed, unguarded face that makes him hard.

Rose's ragged gasps become whimpers. The Doctor's eyes turn black as he explores her. She reaches blindly for Jack, hears his muffled groan. The exquisite torture doesn't stop.

The Doctor is slowing Time. Desire is endlessly prolonged. Jack's going mad; Rose sobs. The Doctor suffers too, controlling Time, but not himself. Finally. pleasure sweeps them over the edge towards release. The Doctor grins wickedly; pleasure can also last forever.
yamx
Nov. 1st, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
I made the effort to talk her into it in chat. *g*
canaana
Nov. 1st, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
lol
lindenharp
Nov. 1st, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
What, it wasn't good enough to gank when I posted it? ;)

I wasn't sure anyone would be interested. I posted the offer the last time this meme rolled around, and no one took me up on it. In chat tonight, Yamx talked me into it.

The entirety of "Forever", if you're cool with it.

Sure. I'll comment on anything I've written, though I reserve the right to veto a passage from a WIP.

"Forever" was terrifying to write. I am always very cautious about erotic scenes, because it's so easy to write them badly. There's a fine line between passion and purple prose. However, having brought our OT3 together as lovers, I felt I ought to write about their first time.

There's not much room for detail in a drabble, but I wanted to include all three points of view.

For Jack, a threesome is nothing new, but this one involves people that he initially didn't think he had a chance with. The Doctor's openness is a particular turn-on, because of the amount of trust that lies behind it.

Rose is very much in her body -- aware of her own desire and pleasure, and the reactions of her partners.

The Doctor is playing with Time to enhance their sexual pleasure. The Time Lords would have been horrified by such a misuse of temporal powers, but everything about this scenario would have been horrifying to the Time Lords. The Doctor does it for a couple of reasons. He wants to make the first time special for his partners, though there's also an element of control and showing off. It's not something he would do often. It's not dangerous, exactly, but it is playing tricks with Time for purely personal reasons. And it takes a lot of concentration.
canaana
Nov. 1st, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
Cool stuff, thank you! :)
yamx
Nov. 1st, 2009 01:08 am (UTC)
Ummm... you don't mind if I ignore the word limit the way everyone else does, right?

Right.

From "Dilemma", chapter 3.

'"I know," Jack says quietly. "I decided it was better to take the chance."' to ' It's not a tender kiss; it's hard, demanding, and possessive, and Jack responds with equal urgency.'

So basically, that conversation between the Doctor and Jack where the Doctor finds out what happened and we get both their emotional reactions. *loves that passage*
lindenharp
Nov. 2nd, 2009 03:32 am (UTC)
Okay. Here's the Doctor at the end of one hell of an emotional roller coaster ride: leaving Jack to die, preparing himself to tell Rose the bad news, seeing what he thought was an earlier version of his dead companion, only to discover that Jack miraculously survived. And now he has to talk about what he did, which is undeniable and (he believes) unforgivable.

He pauses. "And I knew that you weren't coming for me."

This is a real kick in the teeth for the Doctor. Jack means that he and the Doctor would make the same choice (to save Rose), and for the same reasons. The Doctor, listening through a filter of guilt, hears it as "I know you don't really love me".

Looking into Jack's eyes, he remembers that sapphire was once used to make surgical knives.

This is a factoid I did not know until I researched it for this story. I was delighted, because it gave me an excuse to use that old cliche, comparing Jack's eyes to sapphires.

Jack goes on to tell the Doctor that he had felt comforted, knowing that the Doctor would take care of Rose.

What he sees now in Jack's eyes is much more frightening: neither the anger and condemnation he was expecting, nor the forgiveness he doesn't deserve. What he sees in Jack's eyes is unshakable trust and love that tosses aside forgiveness as unnecessary. It scares him worse than a Dalek battle fleet. He might have a chance against the Daleks.

I was particularly pleased with this section. Because of his experience in the Time War, Nine is a very closed and private personality. Opening his hearts to someone else is incredibly difficult. The only thing that's more frightening is having his lovers entrust their hearts to him. He's terrified that he's going to screw up and hurt them.

Then we have a few lines of banter about Jack's new outfit. For the Doctor, it's an attempt to distract himself from the intense emotions of this conversation.

Jack responds in kind, with a flirtatious joke. It takes the Doctor a moment to read the entirely different message in his body language.

Doctor, you are a blind an' stupid old git. Ought to know by now what delayed shock looks like in a human.

Jack is brave, but he's not immune to fear. Coming that close to death will have an impact on even a battle-hardened veteran. But what scared him even more was the prospect of losing Rose and the Doctor. He believed they made it safely off the ship, but he couldn't be 100% sure. A more serious concern was that he might not find them again. He knew they would assume he was dead, so... no reason for them to come looking. In his relationship with the Doctor and Rose, he's found a happiness he never expected to find. The two days Jack spent waiting on the station were agonizing. Initially, I wrote this scene with Jack being very casual ("What took you so long, Doc?"). Wendymr read the first draft, and asked me why Jack was so certain of being found. When I realized that he couldn't be sure, it changed the whole flavor of the scene. Jack has been on edge, and even after the reunion, he hasn't been able to open up, share his feelings, and get comfort. He realized that Rose didn't know what happened, so he made himself wait even longer. And now it's hitting him, and hitting hard.

The Doctor holds him. He doesn't rub the Captain's back, or murmur soothing words. He's rubbish at soothing words, and he doesn't think Jack is listening to anything, except maybe his own staccato gasps. He holds Jack firmly. Implacably. He will hold him all night, if needs must, and through the day. He will hold him until they both turn into trees and sink their roots deep into the deck of the TARDIS.

I figured that Nine isn't really a 'whisper sweet nothings' kind of guy, and in Jack's condition -- he's in shock, really -- a physical response would work best. The image of intertwined trees came to me from a couple of folklore sources, especially the myth of Baucis and Philemon. I liked the image, especially in describing two strong men who love each other.

Hope this tells you some of what you want to know.
yamx
Nov. 3rd, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
It does, thank you! I particularly loved the bit about Jack's unshakable trust and his not even needing to forgive hims caring the Doctor beyond all reason, too. And the bit at the end, where he's just holding him, and will keep holding him as long as Jack needs him to. *melts*
wendymr
Nov. 1st, 2009 01:31 am (UTC)
From Choices - abridged scene
I've always loved this scene, and the vow that precedes it:

Jack’s heart is still pounding[...] “That was quite a speech you made back there, Doctor. Some of it sounded almost like a ritual.”

The Time Lord does not look up from the readout he is studying. “Yeah. Took it from a House-binding– never mind. Dunno why I used the old words. Meant them, though. You belong on the TARDIS.”

“It sounded like you were saying that I belonged to you.” Jack is careful to keep his tone light.

[...] “What I said was that you were mine to protect. The words bind me, not you.”

That makes his place clear enough. A dependent. A responsibility. What did you think he would say? Snap out of it, Jack. You’re alive and free, which is a lot more than you expected two hours ago. Aloud, with deliberate casualness, he says, “And that was some bluff you pulled. I think Quintrell bought it — hell, I nearly bought it myself.”

The Doctor finally looks up. There is no answering grin on his face, and shadows of the predator still haunt his eyes. “What bluff?”

Jack Harkness — the glib, smooth-talking seducer, raconteur, and former conman — struggles to find words. “You really would… for me…”

“Said so, didn’t I?” The Time Lord flips several switches. “They’ve been getting’ too big for their boots for a few centuries. Needed talkin’ to.” [...]

It’s clear that the Doctor considers the other topic closed, but Jack can’t let this moment pass in silence. There are too many unspoken words weighing down on him. “Doctor, I don’t know what to say–”

“You talk too much,” the Time Lord grumbles. [...] “Humans. Always chatterin’.”

“Doctor.”

The Doctor sighs and looks up, meeting Jack’s intent gaze. His face is calm; watching, waiting.

“Relational rituals like that usually have two parts,” Jack says, as dry and precise as any anthropology lecturer at the Time Academy. “So… what are the words that would bind me?”

Something flickers behind the Doctor’s impassive mask. “No,” he says bluntly, “I don’t want that, Captain.”

Jack nods stiffly. “All right. I understand.” You don’t want me.

“No, you don’t,” the Time Lord growls. “I shouldn’t have used those words. Should’ve left them in the past, but I wasn’t thinkin’ clearly.” [...] “The other half of that ritual would bind you, all right. Obedience an’ service an’ obligation. For life. I don’t want that from anyone, ‘specially you.”

No wonder I was thinking it sounded medieval. Homage, the Academy lecturer in the back of Jack’s mind recites, from the Old French, homme, man. A feudal ceremony in which a vassal publicly acknowledges himself to be his lord’s man. The free-spirited Doctor would chafe at the rules and restrictions of that bond. So would Jack, and yet part of him finds the thought tempting. To belong to someone… And he is looking at the only person in the Universe to whom he could honestly make such a pledge.

“I had to pretend to claim you,” the Doctor continues, “because that lot only understands possession an’ control. Idiots.”

There’s a knot the size of a small asteroid in his belly, but he has to ask, has to know. “Pretend?”

“Already chosen you, hadn’t I? Did that a while back. The difference between a claim an’ a choice is that choosin’ has to be on both sides.” The stormy blue eyes look at him; look into him, seeing all of him, and accepting him. “You’re free to choose, Jack. You can choose to be on the TARDIS with Rose an’ me. An’ you can choose to go.”

Relief and joy flood into him. Maybe this is a fairy tale, after all. Jack looks at the prince who was ready to slay a dragon for his sake. “I made my choice a long time ago, Doctor.” The choice– and the consequences. This life is no less dangerous than the one he left behind in a vaporised Chula warship. He may be dead or maimed or imprisoned before he reaches forty. He probably will never be loved as Rose is loved; may never have a chance to explore those intriguing, sardonic lips. Doesn’t matter. Right now, Jack Harkness is sure of the one thing that does matter: he has been chosen. Not merely accepted, but wanted. Whatever the future may bring, in this present moment, he is living happily ever after.
lindenharp
Nov. 2nd, 2009 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: From Choices - abridged scene
This is the culminating scene of the story, and so it sums up the themes I wanted to address.

The first is Jack learning just what he means to the Doctor. When I wrote "Choices" as a sequel to "Clues", I was not really planning what became the Changes!verse. I just wanted to explore the developing relationship between these two characters.

Jack is still not really sure where he fits in aboard the TARDIS. He knows the Doctor trusts him and likes him, but he doesn't really believe that he's important to the Doctor. Some of this is residual guilt from 1941 (and his entire career as a con man). Some of it is being still overwhelmed that he is traveling with (OMG!) a TIME LORD.

Which brings me to another theme that I have tackled in various stories: a relationship with a Time Lord is by definition very unequal, in terms of age, intellect, knowledge, and power. He's not perfect, not a god, and the best companions are the ones who remind him of that. Jack is one of the few companions who knew about Time Lords before he met the Doctor. And though he knows the Doctor is fallible, he still puts him on a pedestal. A Time Lord is a legend, and how can someone like Jack be important to a legend? Jack is shaken when the Doctor risks his own safety to defend him against the Time Agency. The Agency is a big part of Jack's past, and he sees it as huge, powerful, and menacing. He is utterly floored when he realizes that the Doctor was not bluffing when he threatened to take down the Agency for his sake. That's a lot more convincing than flowers or chocolates.

The "vow" and its aftermath. I think Gallifrey is more a part of the Doctor than he wants to admit, rebel though he is. As much as he railed against their pompous, ritual-bound culture, it shaped him. And I think that sometimes, when he's reacting to events, the form of his reaction is determined by Gallifreyan culture. So when he was groping for words to "claim" Jack, the ones that came to mind were part of an old Time Lord ritual. I didn't go into a lot of detail, even in my own mind, but I imagined something vaguely feudal. Afterwards, he rejects that relationship model, because it's inherently unequal. It's for a vassal swearing fealty to a liege lord, and that is not the relationship he wants with Jack.

Jack has very mixed feelings about this. He's attracted to the idea of "belonging" to the Doctor. Between his need to be wanted, and that pedestal I mentioned, he isn't overly bothered by the unequal nature of the vow. And when the Doctor rejects the vow, Jack feels momentarily that the Doctor is rejecting him. But the Doctor makes it clear that he wants them to belong to each other as friends and equals. Cue happy music. Drop the curtain.

I hope this helps. Let me know if there's anything you want clarified.
wendymr
Nov. 2nd, 2009 01:12 pm (UTC)
Re: From Choices - abridged scene
Thanks for this - I absolutely adore that scene, as you know, particularly as the Doctor opens up and makes clear that he chose Jack a long time ago, and that he meant every word of what he said in the Agency. Which is huge for Jack. And I can well believe that Jack would have said every word of his side of the vow and meant it - and that the Doctor would have hated it.

I wonder if the Doctor who made this vow would still have left Jack behind on Satellite Five? Let's agree that he wouldn't, okay? ;)

Edited at 2009-11-02 01:14 pm (UTC)
wendymr
Nov. 1st, 2009 01:48 am (UTC)
Clues
And I'm also curious about this:

Another day. Rose is complaining — not very energetically -- about yet another delay of a long-awaited shopping expedition.

As she flounces out of the console room, the Doctor looks at her without much sympathy. “Pitiful. Jus’ pitiful. My hearts are breakin’ for you, Rose Tyler.” In an exaggerated gesture, he thumps his open palms on either side of his chest.

Jack’s own heart seems to skip a beat, then speed up. Bicardial. OhMySweetGods. At this point Jack realizes two things. First: he has not been uncovering clues about the Doctor; he has been following ones intentionally dropped for him. Like a duck waddling along a trail of bread crumbs. Second: if all of those clues are true, then the Doctor is… the words force themselves out of his mouth before he has a chance to worry if he’ll sound stupid. “Time Lord?”

“Took you long enough, Captain,” the Doctor says in a mild tone that takes most of the sting out of the words. The steel-blue eyes hold amusement mixed with something more serious: speculation… appraisal.

Jack is feeling too many things to sort them all out. Amazement and awe, chagrin at his own stupidity, fierce curiosity, and if he forces himself to be honest, just a touch of fear.

“I expect you have questions.” The Doctor leans back against the console, arms folded. Waiting.


What's the Doctor's motive for spreading that trail of clues for Jack? Was Rose in on it? Was he hoping Jack would work it out sooner, and why?
lindenharp
Nov. 2nd, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Clues
True confessions time. This was my first fic for New Who, and my first fic of any sort in many years. I should also mention that I had no beta reader at the time.

I watched Series 1 out of sequence. I think my first introduction to Captain Jack was "The Doctor Dances". It was quite a while before I discovered the huge plot gap between TDD and "Boom Town". How and when did Jack discover he was traveling with a Time Lord? How did he go from an outsider to an integral member of Team TARDIS?

It was about the same time that I discovered the Teaspoon, and began devouring fanfic, since Series 2 was not yet available in the U.S. I read quite a few Jack-newly-arrived-on-the-TARDIS stories, including your own wonderful "Dimensionally Transcendent". And I got an itch to write my own version of how Jack discovered who the Doctor is.

I made it up as I went along. I had the basic notion that Jack should piece together clues until he makes the connection. And I had a lot of fun coming up with the various anomalies that he would notice, especially the Doctor's indifference to fabulous wealth. When I got to the "reveal" scene, it clicked in my mind that the Doctor had deliberately been dropping hints. Part of the reason why is in this quote near the end:

“You wanted to see how I’d react.” The Doctor makes no sound or movement, but his attention sharpens in a way that tells Jack he’s on the right track.

How Jack reacted to each clue told the Doctor something about his character. I have since decided that the Doctor was also messing with Jack's head, though he probably would have denied any such motivation.

Rose was definitely not in on it. The Doctor told her not to tell Jack he was a Time Lord, but did not involve her in any other way.

If the Doctor's motivations seem murky, or the breadcrumbs don't quite make sense, it's because I changed the ending after I had written most of the story. If I were writing it from scratch now, there are probably things I'd do differently, but I'm still fairly pleased with it.
wendymr
Nov. 3rd, 2009 01:49 am (UTC)
Re: Clues
Oh, I don't think there's anything murky or confusing about either the Doctor's motives or the clues. I was just really interested in why you decided to tell the story of Jack finding out in this way, rather than any of the other ways he could find out the truth. I do quite enjoy the thought of the Doctor messing with Jack's head a bit - and I'm sure he'd enjoy it too! - and his amusement when Jack works it out and is gobsmacked.

Thanks for the explanation!
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