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Commentary: Frostproof

DVD commentary, for kalleah , who requested Frostproof.  The original commentary request post is here

This story was written in something of a hurry, and (IIRC) not beta'd.  It was inspired by the following line from the_tenzo 's Joy of Sex comment prompt meme:

In England, to have regular and full love out of doors, you need to be frostproof and own a parka.

It was exciting to discover that I could write to a prompt, even with my limited cast of characters. 

If, as she does, you have a boyfriend who insists on renting a stone cottage in the far, far North, it's just as well that he has packed the car with wonderful, high-tech camping supplies.  He would, wouldn't he?  He puts a lot of energy into making Penny's experiences with him good ones.  Because the cottage in question does not have electricity or heat. John insists that he thought the cottage had been modernized, that finding it a stone shell with a barely-intact thatched roof was as much a surprise to him as to her, but she has her suspicions.  He's probably telling the truth.  On the other hand, he likes challenges, and he did pack for the outdoors.  

But: he has brought wonderful things with him. Hampers that keep hot foods hot and cold foods just on the pleasant side of frozen. John and Penny both have something of the foodie in them, although they would deny it.  Tea, proper tea, from a machine that takes a small oblong pod and a bottle of mineral water and produces two perfect cuppas in less time than it takes to track down the matching travel mugs.  Tea is *very important*, especially to a Doctor-descendant.   And now this sleeping bag. She doesn't know if it's battery-powered or simply a perfect insulator, but it's silky on the inside, soft to lie on, and wonderfully warm.  Since this takes place 35 years in the future, I felt free to handwave about miraculous innovations in high-end textiles.  She watches John light a lamp, set it on the rickety table, come over to where she lies.  Why does he use a kerosene lamp, rather than some futuristic solar cell-powered LED gadget?  So I can use the punchline.  

He sheds his coat in a hurry, tosses it over to lie on hers, and in moments he is in the sleeping bag with her, rolling on top of her, smelling wonderfully of tea and Aran wool and warm male.  John's Aran sweater is, of course, made of real Aran wool.  And we've established that Penny likes John's smell.     

She reaches up, licks his neck. He's kissing her forehead, her nose, her mouth, his hands fumbling at her waist, pushing up her jumper and her shirt, pulling down her jeans.

"I want you naked," he says, as she struggles with his clothes, and she couldn't agree more.  That line -- "I want you naked" -- was inspired by a similar one uttered under similar circumstances in the X Files fic "A Cold Day in July".  

And it's good, it's good, all warm and skin against skin, against the silky lining of the sleeping bag, the wind loud outside and the door rattling, but they two together in the warmth. Maybe a word or two too many in that sentence.  John's body is sleek and smooth to the touch, strong muscle under thin skin, furry against the smoothness of her chest, hard against her softness, and prickly against her shaved legs. Definitely one clause too many in that one.  He likes her body, too, and says so: the curves, the softnesses, the parts only he is privilfeged to see, stroke, caress.  Again, too many words, but unlike many it wasn't obviously improved by removing any single word.  

And then it's just a question of holding on as the other lets go. And at last they're curled together, in perfect warmth, the magic sleeping bag wicking away moisture so that they're not even sweaty. Too many sentences beginning with "And".  This is bliss.

And then John speaks.

"Bugger," he says.

"What's wrong?" she says, poking her face out of the sleeping bag.

In the flickering light, John looks attractively mussed, sensually relaxed, thoroughly indulged, and a little bit annoyed. Another overstuffed sentence.  He sighs.

"One of us has to get up and turn off the lamp."  I still think that's a pretty good punchline.  

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
kalleah
Sep. 23rd, 2010 01:55 am (UTC)
Why does he use a kerosene lamp, rather than some futuristic solar cell-powered LED gadget?

Because it's romantic? LEDs are not sexy. Efficient, sure. And it's a good punchline.
np_complete
Sep. 26th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
True. A kerosene lamp is definitely more romantic. LED light is a bit bleak, now that you mention it. It's the blue overtones.

Glad you liked the punchline!
earlgreytea68
Sep. 23rd, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
I don't think the sentences are overstuffed, as you say. Sex scenes demand profusion, I think.
np_complete
Sep. 26th, 2010 01:24 pm (UTC)
I don't think the sentences are overstuffed, as you say. Sex scenes demand profusion, I think.

Mm, true. Don't you hate it when you feel a passage is not quite right, but you can't figure out any way to improve it? I get that feeling about that paragraph, hence blaming the abundance of extra clauses.

I thought of you when I wrote the line about the importance of tea!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )