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Fic: Heritage, Chapter Fifteen

Title: Heritage, Chapter Fifteen
Author: NP-Complete
Rating: R for adult-ish content
Characters: OCs; historical Rose/Ten
Spoilers: Doomsday
Disclaimer: Doctor Who and its characters belong to its authors and copyright holders. No infringement is intended and no money is being made.

Summary: Half Time Lord, all human. In the future, one extraordinary man lives an almost entirely unremarkable life. (Almost.)

Author's Note: Thanks to everybody who commented on my previous chapters. Thanks especially to kalleah for excellent beta-ing, encouragement, and advice-giving, and to starxd_sparrow for the story summary.

“But that’s over with,” he said, cheering himself up. “It’s a new day.” He turned on his side, slid towards her. “You love me,” he murmured, pulling her into his arms. “Lucky bastard that I am. You love me.”

Previous Chapters



She awoke before John. This didn’t happen often: it was far more common for her to awake and find him already up, or perhaps reading in bed. But he was still sleeping, a solid, lightly snoring presence in the bed. The room was still dark, the very edges of the darkened, covered window lit up with light from the street. It was one of the long hours of the night, probably past midnight, morning silently creeping in.

The bed she was in was very soft, the sheets soft and smooth yet somehow slightly crisp. She was partly under a lightweight duvet, shared with John. She’d put on her nightdress, not comfortable sleeping nude in a strange place. John, she knew, was in a pair of tracksuit bottoms. She had been pleased to see them, pleased that he had brought the prosaic nightwear rather than, say, silk pajamas. They were an artifact from their normal life, the life of the middle-class research scientist he liked to pretend he was.

Hard work and a quiet life, he’d said. That was the life he’d offered; that was the offer she’d slowly been accepting, the elements of her life commingling with his, blending into a life in common. But there was more to his life than he’d admitted: there was a whole world out here, new to her, where people flattered and fawned on John, where John gave orders and people impassively carried them out, where whole organizations put themselves at his service.

The role of rich man’s lady friend was a new one for her. It promised treats, pleasures … and a faint discomfort, as if her presence were an indulgence that other people were allowing John. She still cringed at the thought of the bed on the zeppelin – all turned down, as if a visitor accompanied by a lady would naturally want to make love while on an airship. She was grateful for the hotel suite, with its solid doors and thick walls and the veil of privacy that spending a night cast over whatever might have happened during that night.

Jackie and John were probably the only people she’d seen all yesterday who had talked and acted naturally. Everyone else had been putting on some kind of act, glibly affable or resolutely bland. She wondered what they’d actually been thinking, the zeppelin crew, the Vitex functionary, the hotel staff, as they’d welcomed the two of them into their respective domains: “Here’s that nice Mr. Tyler,” one hoped? Or, “Here we go once again”? How had she and John really appeared? “A pleasant, friendly couple in love”? Or “some rich geezer and his bit of stuff”?

It must take practice, she thought, to get used to it: all those people, false fronts in place, focusing on you. And where did you go for human connection? She had her friends, her family, friendly colleagues – a whole world of people. John had his lecture acquaintances, his family, old friends, perhaps … and her.

She felt a swell of feeling – protectiveness, and passion, and empathy, this last so deep-felt and passionate that it almost hurt. Let me be enough; let me do enough to make it better. Let her give him a connection, lead him to new connections, make a safe space for him, free him to be happy.

“I love you,” she whispered. John slept on.

~oOo~


When she next opened her eyes, it was to find the room light and John watching her.

He lay on his side, head propped up on one elbow, studying her. His gaze was open, patient, uncritical.

“What are you thinking?” she asked. Her voice was hoarse.

“That you’re beautiful,” he said, earnestly and simply.

She looked at him: the big, luminous brown eyes; the pale skin, the thatch of brown hair, stuck every which way; the tapered chin; the vulnerable, sensitive mouth. How she loved that mouth.

“You’re beautiful,” she told him, meaning it, offering it to him like a gift.

He blinked, slowly. “I love you,” he said, with that same slow seriousness.

It was a statement that had weight, that passed between them like a treaty between nations, like history being made. Conscious of his solemnity, she took a breath, and spoke. “I love you, too.”

Emotion flickered through his eyes, but his expression remained serious. He rose on his elbow, leaned forward, and kissed her, very softly. She took the kiss, opening her mouth slightly.

“First kiss,” he murmured, and she thought she knew what he meant. It was the first kiss after their pledges, the first kiss of the rest of their lives.

She ventured her hand out, feeling drawn to touch him. “It’s a good start,” she said.

“Yes, indeed.” He reached his hand out and took hers, curling his fingers around hers.

“I love you,” she said. It was easier to say, now.

“Last night,” he said. “You wouldn’t say it.” At her look, he prompted, “I said it, but … you weren’t sure yet?”

It was true, approximately. “No,” she said. “Not completely.”

“But you’re sure now.”

“Yes.”

It was not enough for him. “How ….” he began, and then fixed her with an intent stare. “Do you mean it?” he asked, a bit sternly.

“Yes.” If to will something to be true was to mean it, if to be determined to live as if something were true was to mean it, she meant it. And what was it that she felt, if it wasn’t love?

John fell back against his pillow. “Well, thank God for that,” he said, speaking to the ceiling. “I was worried,” he went on. “I’d gone out on a limb, and you said … nothing.”

“I’m sorry,” she said.

“Don’t …” he said automatically, and then, conceding, “It was a bit rough on me.”

“I’m sorry,” she said, meaning it.

“But that’s over with,” he said, cheering himself up. “It’s a new day.” He turned on his side, slid towards her. “You love me,” he murmured, pulling her into his arms. “Lucky bastard that I am. You love me.”

“I love you,” she agreed, between kisses.

“And I love you, too.” He kissed her all over her mouth. “My beautiful girl [kiss]. So, so pretty.” He kissed her again, as his hands moved slowly down her back, eased up her front, molded her nightdress to her breasts.

“Mm,” he said appreciatively, the sound resonating in his chest. “I like these. Have I ever told you how much I like these?”

“Don’t think so,” she said, as he pulled the nightdress down to expose most of her right breast. “Not in so many words.”

“Well, I do,” he said, and placed a smacking kiss on the exposed breast. “So warm, and round, and soft, and they move so nicely … I like watching them move.”

“Hopefully they don’t move very much,” she said, thinking of her professional clothes.

“They move all the time,” he said. “Watch.” And he pushed at the side of her breast, watching it jiggle.

“Not at work, though. Not during the day.”

“No, not at work. They’re very decorous at work. Hardly a twitch. They seem to say, ‘Don’t even think about picturing me naked. Because I’m not meant for you.’”

“Well,” she said, a little unsteadily as he settled his hands in for some light squeezing, “I suppose my clothes are doing their job, then.”

“‘Professionalism’,” he quoted. “Says, ‘this girl is beautiful and curvy and delightful with her clothes off, but I’m going to make you ashamed of thinking that, because you’re only supposed to admire her mind.’”

“Somebody told me once,” she panted. “Don’t ever trust a man who claims to admire your mind.”

“Too right. Not if he’s been in the presence of your breasts,” John said. “But you can still trust me, because, while I yield to no one in my admiration of your mind, I admit to … conspicuous weakness … in the presence … of your body.”

This sounded like an excellent combination, really, but she found herself out of breath to say so, as John eased the nightdress up and off.

“Ah, here we go, then,” he said, happily. “Skin.”

“Mm,” she said, settling happily on her back, her hands sliding across John’s shoulders and back. “Skin.”

“Lovely stuff. And so variable. Look at that, eh.” He ran the tip of his tongue around her raised nipple. “Completely different from the rest of your skin.” He flicked the nipple once with his tongue. “And sexy. Though all of you is sexy. But this,” – he flicked the nipple again – “is especially so.”

“I know a sexy bit on you,” she said, reaching down for his trouser drawstring.

“Mm. That bit’s very interested in your sexy bits. One sexy bit in particular. Ah,” he added. “Oh.

“Let’s get these trousers off.”

“Hello,” he said, from where he’d rolled onto his back, as his trousers were pulled off. “I think – you’re being – demanding again, aren’t you?”

“I think you’re up to it.”

“Oh, I’m up,” he said, and reached to steady her over him. “No doubt about that at all.”

~oOo~


Breakfast came. It was a good tray for two lovers rising from their bed: waffles, raspberries, quartered strawberries, crème Chantilly, a dish of chocolate shavings. To the side were croissants, yeasty and buttery; butter, jam, marmalade, a separate bowl of uncut fruit. A bone china pot of tea sat in a snowy insulated cozy – to John’s taste, Indian without too much tannin. They ate at the table in the outer room of the suite, and talked.

“You don’t sleep much, do you?” She could count on one hand the number of times she’d awoken before John.

“Mm,” said John. “Never really needed to, that much,” he said. “Used to drive my family mad. They used to try to make me sleep, make me promise I wouldn’t get out of bed until the number on the left said six. I used to lie awake, telling myself stories.”

“What kind of stories?”

“Oh … stories about my dinosaurs – I had toy dinosaurs – or about auto races. Or about my Dad. I told myself stories about adventures he was on, saving the universe. Universes.”

“I can imagine.”

“Sometimes I was with him – sometimes we all were, me and Mum and Dad, fighting monsters, saving the Earth. Sometimes I imagined brothers and sisters. I do rather wish I’d had a brother or sister – even with a different father. It would have been fun to have someone to play with.”

“My brother was fun to play with – when he’d let me!”

“Sometimes I’d pretend Uncle Mickey was my dad. I wanted him and Mum to get married for a while. Wouldn’t have worked, I know that, but as a kid I wanted everything tidied up, me with two parents, brothers and sisters, Sunday tea with the whole family including Gran and Granddad and Great-Aunt Rita-Anne.”

She was struck by his vision of family. “Sounds nice.”

“Mm,” said John. He appeared to be thinking of something.

“Mum tried,” he said, finally. “She spent time with me, read to me, even played cars with me sometimes. I was always trying to get her to play cars with me, even though she didn’t care for it and Mickey did. Or play with my dinosaurs. She preferred educational games – she gave me chemistry kits, where you get to create green ooze and throw it at people. She’s a great one with a can of silly string. Or play foosball. I was so happy the first time I beat her, and she wasn’t letting me beat her.”

“Your Gran said she wanted your Mum to spend more time with you,” she said, treading carefully.

“She wasn’t home every night,” said John. “She spent a lot of time away. I suppose it was like being the child of divorced parents – except that I never saw my Dad, of course. But I had Gran and Granddad. I wasn’t neglected at all.”

The assertion wasn’t entirely convincing. He was leaving out whether he’d wanted more time with his Mum, she noticed. But perhaps every child of working parents wanted more time with them. Her own mother had worked in the school system: she’d had a schedule very similar to her children’s.

“It’s good you had your grandparents – and Mickey.”

“Yes. You’ll have to meet Mickey sometime. You’ll like him.”

And you’ll have to meet my parents, she thought. A weekend this summer. She’d have to make a phone call.

She’d had a waffle and some berries to eat, but she felt like something more. “Fancy the banana?” she said, eyeing the fruit bowl.

“No, thanks,” said John. “I don’t fancy bananas. We had them every day when I was a kid.”

She picked up the banana, bent the stem, began to peel it. “I’m surprised they included it, then. Or was it for me?”

He looked confused. “The banana,” she said. “Did they not know you didn’t like bananas?”

He definitely looked confused. “How would they know I don’t like bananas?” he said.

She felt the beginnings of embarrassment, from having made a false assumption. “I just assumed,” she said. “Everything else is to your taste; I assumed they’d be told you don’t like bananas.”

John’s face was long, as he chewed on that thought. “I just placed an order,” he said. “I didn’t give them a dossier.”

“Everything else is to your taste,” she said, a bit embarrassed. “What about the tea?”

“Well, they did ask if I wanted Chinese, Indian, or Kenyan,” he said. “But this is just tea. It’s not ‘John Tyler’s Tea’”.

“Everything else is to ‘John Tyler’s Taste,’” she said, now really embarrassed. “I just assumed they’d been briefed on what to expect.”

“Penny,” said John, firmly. “Not everything is about me.”

The banana was peeled now. She didn’t really want it any more, but she took a bite. John sat there, watching her.

“You have questions,” he said, after a while. “That’s understandable. You can ask them.”

She glanced up at him, then glanced down again, chewing a mouthful of banana.

“I love you,” John emphasized again. “You can ask. It’s all right.”

She swallowed. “All right,” she said, and hesitated. “Last night … yesterday … I didn’t realize. I didn’t know you were so – so – ”

There was a pause, and then John said, “Rich?”

“Yes,” she admitted.

John’s face was sober, and he reached out and brushed her hair away from her face. “Does that make you uncomfortable?” he said.

“A little,” she said. “I had no idea.”

“Didn’t you?”

“You wear ordinary clothes. You live in an ordinary flat. You’re not running the Institute – are you?”

“No.”

“How does that work?”

John sighed. “My family endowed the institute with – let’s say about a third of our Vitex shares. It’s theirs. We don’t control it. My mother’s one of the trustees – it was her idea – but she never goes to meetings. I sometimes do. But I’m just one voice. My mother is the focus, but she doesn’t have much to do with the running of the place. They just like to use her name. They use me as a substitute whenever they want to make a show. And in the meantime I sit in my office and do nothing.”

He was a rich man. There was so much else he could be doing with his life. Something he might actually enjoy, perhaps.

“Why do you work there?” She’d wanted to ask this for a long time.

He blinked at her. “Where else would I work?”

~oOo~


It was late afternoon before she closed the door behind her in her flat. John had offered to send her home in Jackie’s car, but she’d insisted on taking the train. Her home seemed unfamiliar, as if it had been a long time since she’d been there.

Her mug of tea was still out, from yesterday, she noticed. She picked it up, jostling her electronic notebook as she did so. The little light in the upper right corner blinked on, reminding her that it was still powered up.

She opened her notebook, pushed the paper pages to one side, tapped the power button of the electronic screen to wake it up. It blinked to life, images coming into focus.

Parisian hotels. Yesterday morning, she’d been looking for reasonably-priced Parisian hotels. Looking for something quaint, pretty.

Well, that had been a waste of effort. A word to John, and they would be booked at the best hotel in Paris, or if not the most glamorous, then the most historically significant, or the most endearingly quaint. She was sure there was some functionary somewhere who could look up the perfect place, make the reservations, book the tickets, deliver it all to John’s door with a flourish and a salute.

No need for a carefully-researched list of likely eating-places, then. A gesture from John and the crooked would make itself straight, the rough places hurry to make themselves plain.

She cleared her screen, closed her documents without saving them, closed her notebook. And then she began, almost furtively, to cry.



Comments

( 38 comments — Leave a comment )
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drho
May. 18th, 2008 12:06 am (UTC)
What an incredible surprise! This is such a heartbreaking chapter. They love each other, but Penny wants to be able to do something for John and he can basically do anything.
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC)
They love each other, but Penny wants to be able to do something for John and he can basically do anything.

I think you've nailed it.

Thanks for reading, and for commenting!
tardislullabye
May. 18th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
Oh, I love John. I believe I've mentioned that in a previous comment. :-)

I adore him.

But, I think I've been watching too many videos of David Tennant on YouTube, because as I read, John had a Scottish accent. LOL

Poor Penny... I hope she finds her way to him. He's waiting.
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
But, I think I've been watching too many videos of David Tennant on YouTube, because as I read, John had a Scottish accent. LOL

LOL! Actually, that's happened to me a couple of times, for the same reason.

Poor Penny... I hope she finds her way to him. He's waiting.

Indeed.
jlrpuck
May. 18th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Thank you for another heartbreakingly beautiful chapter. I really enjoy how you're presenting Penny's struggle with John's wealth; she thought she'd got to know the real him (and I suspect in truth, she has), but finding out that there's so much more to him than she thought *would* be a bit of a shock.

Another bit I really enjoyed? Penny and John telling each other, in the calm light of morning, how very much they loved each other. That really was beautifully done.

Your writing, as ever, provided a lovely bit of calm in the whirlwind of life. Thank you for sharing it, and I look forward to more.
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
I really enjoy how you're presenting Penny's struggle with John's wealth; she thought she'd got to know the real him (and I suspect in truth, she has), but finding out that there's so much more to him than she thought *would* be a bit of a shock.

It's been obscured by the fact that it took me six months to get this far, but in the story timeline she only began to realize the scale of John's wealth and influence yesterday morning, when he picked her up in the limo. She needs time to think, to review her knowledge of John's character, to reassess whether she ever saw hints of a "child of privilege" mentality in all the time she's spent with him. Spending time with him once he's back in his guise of Tyler Institute staff scientist will help, too, watching him queue for sandwiches and drink coffee-machine coffee and putter about in his ordinary, human-sized flat.

Your writing, as ever, provided a lovely bit of calm in the whirlwind of life. Thank you for sharing it, and I look forward to more.

Thank you so much!
bouncy_castle79
May. 18th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
Oh, poor Penny! At least she opened up a wee bit and let John know that she's not exactly comfortable with his billions. Unfortunately, I don't think John got how deeply her feelings about this run.

I have to say, though, my heart-breaking moment in this installment was hearing John explain so matter-of-factly his mother's distant attitude while he was growing up. It's a testament to how well you've written this character that I kind of...want to kick Rose's ass. And I have *never* felt that way before.

Great job, as always, and I patiently await the next installment!
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 01:03 am (UTC)
I have to say, though, my heart-breaking moment in this installment was hearing John explain so matter-of-factly his mother's distant attitude while he was growing up.

The sad thing is that John thought he was defending his mother against implications of neglect.

It's a testament to how well you've written this character that I kind of...want to kick Rose's ass. And I have *never* felt that way before.

Saving the world, being a full-time Mum -- they don't go together very well. And although I haven't explored it, I rather suspect Rose felt John had a destiny that she needed to prepare him for.
maniacalshen
May. 18th, 2008 06:59 am (UTC)
Oh, poor Penny! That balance in the relationship is going to take some effort to strike.
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
Oh, poor Penny! That balance in the relationship is going to take some effort to strike.

I don't think John realized how good a job he was doing pretending to be a middle-class research scientist. He took it for granted that she knew he had resources he didn't tap into. (He knows better now.) You're right, it'll take a little while to reach a balance.

Thanks for reading, and for commenting!
bluevolvic
May. 18th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
Awww! Poor Penny,the ending was so sad.I wish she was able to tell John how much his lifestyle bothers her.I don't think he realises to the extent of it, he loves her dearly and I don't think he'd want her to feel the way she is feeling.

Is he holding back on his past with his mum, he didn'ttell her that he wanted more time with his mum as a child,Is there a reason why he didn't mention it to her?

I hope they both open up to each other more.

Fantastic update! it was good to see this appear when I saw it:D, can't wait for the next part.
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
I wish she was able to tell John how much his lifestyle bothers her.I don't think he realises to the extent of it, he loves her dearly and I don't think he'd want her to feel the way she is feeling.

You're right, he wouldn't.

Is he holding back on his past with his mum, he didn'ttell her that he wanted more time with his mum as a child,Is there a reason why he didn't mention it to her?

The message he absorbed as a child is that his mother had other responsibilities that sometimes took priority over him, so he had to be patient and strong and brave for Mummy. That's still the perspective he takes as an adult. He doesn't say he would have liked more time with his mother as a child because he never lets himself resent the fact that he didn't get it.

I hope they both open up to each other more.

Yes, that would be good for both of them.

Thanks for reading, and for commenting.
glory_jean
May. 19th, 2008 09:17 am (UTC)
This is lovely.

Hard work and a quiet life, he’d said. That was the life he’d offered; that was the offer she’d slowly been accepting, the elements of her life commingling with his, blending into a life in common. But there was more to his life than he’d admitted:

Whether she'll admit it to herself or not, I think she feels a little betrayed by this discovery. This is what fuels her fear of declaring her feelings. The fear of committing herself and then having him later reject her because she doesn't fit in with his world.

He was a rich man. There was so much else he could be doing with his life. Something he might actually enjoy, perhaps.

“Why do you work there?” She’d wanted to ask this for a long time.

He blinked at her. “Where else would I work?”


This just breaks my heart. He doesn't even realize he might have other options and that he is marking time rather than truly living his life.

Well, that had been a waste of effort. A word to John, and they would be booked at the best hotel in Paris, or if not the most glamorous, then the most historically significant, or the most endearingly quaint. She was sure there was some functionary somewhere who could look up the perfect place, make the reservations, book the tickets, deliver it all to John’s door with a flourish and a salute.

These two really have to get their act together. She noted how impersonal the people in John's other life are, yet she doesn't stop to think that he might need someone to do something for him because of him.

No need for a carefully-researched list of likely eating-places, then. A gesture from John and the crooked would make itself straight, the rough places hurry to make themselves plain.

Not that he would.

She cleared her screen, closed her documents without saving them, closed her notebook. And then she began, almost furtively, to cry.

:( Ooh, I saw this one coming. I had hoped she would unveil her plans before he came clean about his finances.


np_complete
May. 25th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
This is lovely.

Thank you!

Whether she'll admit it to herself or not, I think she feels a little betrayed by this discovery. This is what fuels her fear of declaring her feelings. The fear of committing herself and then having him later reject her because she doesn't fit in with his world.

Yes. That's the problem with Cinderella stories (and as sensiblecat pointed out in a comment to the last chapter, it was probably true for Jackie, too) -- there's bound to be a good bit of culture shock.

This just breaks my heart. He doesn't even realize he might have other options and that he is marking time rather than truly living his life.

Too true. He has an ethos of service to mankind, from his mother, but he doesn't think about how he might be more effective -- or that it might be time for a break.

These two really have to get their act together. She noted how impersonal the people in John's other life are, yet she doesn't stop to think that he might need someone to do something for him because of him.

She's not sure what John's perspective is, at this point, how he really views things -- she's only just realized all the resources he has available and how very different his background is from hers. She's going to need some time with John-the-scientist, in his very ordinary flat, to reassure herself that his true likes and desires are the same as hers.

:( Ooh, I saw this one coming. I had hoped she would unveil her plans before he came clean about his finances.

:( Poor girl doesn't know what to think at this point.
claramata
May. 19th, 2008 03:20 pm (UTC)
You know what I think is sad? I think John would have loved all the trouble Penny went to planning a weekend in Paris. So Penny shouldn't have gotten rid of it.

I love these two so much.
np_complete
May. 25th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
You know what I think is sad? I think John would have loved all the trouble Penny went to planning a weekend in Paris. So Penny shouldn't have gotten rid of it.

Yes, I think you're right. He would have been delighted.

I love these two so much.

I'm so glad!
catsfiction
May. 19th, 2008 03:48 pm (UTC)
I really relate to Penny's feelings here. I married a man who wasn't fabulously wealthy, but it opened up a lifestyle that had hitherto been alien to me. Even now I don't completely relax in a grand hotel. We tried one recently and I was fine until they came in and turned down the sheets while we were having dinner. For some reason, that really bothered me!

The sex is so realistic, tender, funny and lovely. I also felt that over breakfast you revealed the reality of John's childhood with great subtlety and skill. In the banana exchange, you gently reminded all of us who dream of Rose popping out little clones of Ten that children are their own people.

And that last line is heartbreaking - I understand so well and I do hope John doesn't suffer from his father's inability to express his needs until it's too late.
np_complete
May. 25th, 2008 01:15 am (UTC)
I really relate to Penny's feelings here. I married a man who wasn't fabulously wealthy, but it opened up a lifestyle that had hitherto been alien to me. Even now I don't completely relax in a grand hotel. We tried one recently and I was fine until they came in and turned down the sheets while we were having dinner. For some reason, that really bothered me!

I had a long paragraph, which I cut, in which Penny recalls the country inn they stayed in when they were first dating, and how being delivered a breakfast tray there felt different from the service she's receiving now, and tries to pin down why. It had to do with the difference between being served and being delivered a service, but I wasn't sure how much it was subjective, dependent on Penny's assumptions about the servers, both then and now. I'm still not sure.

The sex is so realistic, tender, funny and lovely. I also felt that over breakfast you revealed the reality of John's childhood with great subtlety and skill. In the banana exchange, you gently reminded all of us who dream of Rose popping out little clones of Ten that children are their own people.

I was proud of the banana exchange. It has always seemed much more likely to me that a junior Ten would insist on apricots or refuse to eat fruit at all than that he would love bananas.

John got a little goofy during the sex, didn't he? As he grows more confident about Penny he's censoring himself less, I think.
rallalon
May. 19th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
What I absolutely adore about this story is that I never, not for one second, doubt that John Tyler is the Doctor's son. He is. It's that simple.

Which is why - for me, at least - the idea of John Tyler the Wealthy Guy instead of John Tyler the Scientist is just unsettling. I think of the huge mansion and then think of Ten freaking out over getting a house with chairs and carpets. It's very much against the natural order, in a way, and yet it remains so true. The grandson of Pete "Trust me on this" Tyler would obviously have wealth and all that. You couldn't have it any other way. It makes me feel really uncomfortable nonetheless and I really have to applaud you for it.

Oh, and Rose. The unseen Rose who would have it that John be a scientist, who was probably behind the many, many bananas of John's childhood. She's got her ideas of how John's supposed to work and I'm betting that this definitely adds into his feelings of insecurity, having his mother want him to fit some sort of Time Lord mold.

I'm not sure if I commented last chapter, so I'll take a moment here to say that I adore your Jackie.

Moving onto the topic of the trip and such: after reading this chapter, I went back and reread the part where the idea of the Paris trip first occurred to Penny. I must say, you're good. You're very, very, very good. In the same conversation, she learns he's never been to Paris and he learns that she's never been on a zeppelin. He just gets to giving her a trip before she gives him hers.

Anywho, I do hope that the display of wealth/status/etc was aimed at making things as absolutely perfect for Penny as he could possibly make them, just for the build-up to the "I love you"s. Otherwise, it just gives me that weird uncomfortableness I mentioned earlier. (It's very rarely that something manages to make me so uneasy, so I really have to applaud you again.) Still, even with the Paris trip being dashed, you've still put in the potential hope of Penny being able to do something with the piano for John. That little comment from Jackie and all.

As could be surmised by my long and rambling comment, I was very happy to see this update and cannot wait for another one.
np_complete
May. 25th, 2008 10:45 pm (UTC)
What I absolutely adore about this story is that I never, not for one second, doubt that John Tyler is the Doctor's son. He is. It's that simple.

Oh, that's marvelous to hear!

Which is why - for me, at least - the idea of John Tyler the Wealthy Guy instead of John Tyler the Scientist is just unsettling.

That is very interesting. You cite Ten freaking out over getting a house with chairs and carpets -- do you mean that you would expect John to be much less tethered to material things? All we've really seen of that so far is this one dip into his resources to arrange the evening, plus his grandmother's house. And the Tylers gave away a large chunk of their wealth to create the Institute, although not all of it, as Penny had originally assumed. It is true that he has responsibilities, as Son of Rose (at the Institute), as a director of Vitex, and probably as the likely overseer of any other Tyler charitable activities, that it's impossible to imagine the Doctor agreeing to carry out. He hasn't "lived the free life of a rover", as the Pogues song has it.

Oh, and Rose. The unseen Rose who would have it that John be a scientist, who was probably behind the many, many bananas of John's childhood. She's got her ideas of how John's supposed to work and I'm betting that this definitely adds into his feelings of insecurity, having his mother want him to fit some sort of Time Lord mold.

Absolutely. A lot of it was probably missing the Doctor, plus John's great resemblence to him, but she definitely had ideas on how John would turn out.

As could be surmised by my long and rambling comment, I was very happy to see this update and cannot wait for another one.

I loved your long and rambling comment. I hope you continue to write them!
whochick
May. 20th, 2008 03:45 am (UTC)
Oh dear. When will she realise that the trappings of wealth matter so little to John and should thus matter so little to her? Silly Penny! Lol!

This was a heartfelt and touching chapter. Well worth the wait :)
np_complete
May. 24th, 2008 12:32 am (UTC)
Oh dear. When will she realise that the trappings of wealth matter so little to John and should thus matter so little to her? Silly Penny!

Well, she only realized the scale of his wealth and influence yesterday. She'd never seen him draw on them before and now she's wondering if she needs to change her whole idea of him. But you're right -- they only mattered to John yesterday to the extent that they helped him create what he hoped would be a meaningful, memorable, special romantic evening.

This was a heartfelt and touching chapter. Well worth the wait :)

Thanks so much!
irishaithne
May. 21st, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
OMG. I bow to you, O Great One.

*hugs Penny* Poor girl, she's finally managed to say "I love you" and then she has to deal with John's megabucks.

Also loved the further insight into John's life and his relationship with Rose (and his imagined one with his dad!). He's so adorable when he gets fuddled by Penny's questioning why things are the way they are - it's all he knows. *Hugs John*

Really looking foreward to ch 16 and meeting Rose, whenever that happens....
np_complete
May. 26th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC)
*hugs Penny* Poor girl, she's finally managed to say "I love you" and then she has to deal with John's megabucks.

She's having to re-think all her impressions of John, question her assumptions about his attitudes and perspectives -- but she's holding on to her feelings for him as her lifeline.

Also loved the further insight into John's life and his relationship with Rose (and his imagined one with his dad!). He's so adorable when he gets fuddled by Penny's questioning why things are the way they are - it's all he knows. *Hugs John*

Yes, poor John could use the hug. He knows he wants to defend the Earth, contribute to improving its understanding of other worlds, but he never asks if he could do it in some better way -- one he might like better, as well.

Thanks for reading, and for commenting!
(no subject) - irishaithne - May. 28th, 2008 03:27 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - np_complete - May. 28th, 2008 03:46 am (UTC) - Expand
earlgreytea68
May. 22nd, 2008 11:34 pm (UTC)
Have been remiss in taking so very long to comment and tell you how much I thoroughly adored this chapter. I love these characters, the way they *can* fit together but not in this smoothly perfect way all the time. John's detail of telling himself stories about his dinosaurs just broke my heart for some reason, as did poor Penny wanting to do *something* for him and fearing it would never be anything that would impress him.

“Here’s that nice Mr. Tyler,” one hoped? Or, “Here we go once again”? How had she and John really appeared? “A pleasant, friendly couple in love”? Or “some rich geezer and his bit of stuff”?

Love this bit especially. So very realistic.
np_complete
May. 26th, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
I love these characters, the way they *can* fit together but not in this smoothly perfect way all the time. John's detail of telling himself stories about his dinosaurs just broke my heart for some reason, as did poor Penny wanting to do *something* for him and fearing it would never be anything that would impress him.

Thank you. Poor Penny is going through a bit of culture shock. She knows she loves the man she woke up with this morning, the one who wears tracksuit bottoms to bed and daydreams about her while he's in the office, but there's much more to him than she realized, things that make her question her assumptions about his attitudes and preferences. It's shaken her world a bit.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the lovely comments!
(Deleted comment)
np_complete
May. 26th, 2008 03:15 am (UTC)
I'm here now! *waves*

Well, welcome! There's often a long wait between chapters, but I get there eventually!

I love the insecurities of both of them and now, particularly Penny, having to come to terms with this new side to John just when she'd got used to the idea of being in love with the 'real' him.

Yes, poor Penny is suffering from a bit of culture shock. She needs some time spent with John back in his staff scientist role, watching him queuing for sandwiches, drinking office coffee, and puttering around the flat, to reassure her that she does know the real man and his wants and attitudes.

Again, welcome! Thanks for reading, and for commenting!
electrictoes
Dec. 29th, 2008 10:52 am (UTC)
I've just read this and it's all wonderful, I've adored it.
np_complete
Dec. 30th, 2008 12:40 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! I do intend to continue it: Real Life has been getting in my way significantly for the past year, but I do mean to finish it.

Would you mind telling me how you found it?

Thanks again!
(no subject) - electrictoes - Dec. 30th, 2008 12:46 am (UTC) - Expand
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